Hilary Cairns, Acting Director
For the past decade, Acting Director Cairns has served the Department of Human Services (DHS) as Program Manager and Deputy Administrator of the Youth Services. In this role, she led the creation of the city’s diversion program and the agency’s prevention and intervention initiatives to decrease juvenile justice and child welfare involvement. These programs include the Alternatives to the Court Experience Diversion Program (ACE), the Parent and Adolescent Support Services Program (PASS), the Strengthening Teens Enriching Parents Program (STEP), and the Teen Parent Assessment Program (TPAP). In addition, she oversaw DC’s efforts to prevent and reduce youth homelessness via community-based housing programs, street outreach, and drop-in centers. Immediately prior to joining DHS, Acting Director Cairns was a parent’s attorney and guardian ad litem in child abuse and neglect cases. Additionally, she helped create the long-standing Mayor’s Capital City Fellows Program which attracts young professionals to work for the District.
Cairns earned her master’s in public policy and law degree from Georgetown University.