Parenting & Childcare

Parenting & Childcare

DHS recognizes how important your children are to you.  The sections below contain useful information to help you maintain a strong work/life balance as a parent.

Adding a Child to Benefits Policies

DHS employees who have children (through birth, adoption or marriage) should consider adding their children (dependents) to the employee benefits outlined below.  Consult OPM’s Healthcare page for more information on your spouse or child’s enrollment eligibility.

NOTE:  You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after a birth, adoption or other qualifying life event to change your FEHB, FEDVIP, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI enrollment.  For more information on enrollment eligibility by qualifying life event, visit OPM’s Life Events page

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

Adding a child to your health insurance plan is simple.  If you already have a Self and Family plan, simply notify your insurance carrier that you wish to enroll your new child. The carrier may require that you submit a copy of your child's birth certificate, a marriage certificate (for stepchildren), or adoption paperwork.

If you are currently enrolled in a Self Only plan, you’ll need switch to a Self Plus One or a Self and Family plan by completing and submitting the Health Benefits Election form (SF-2809) and a copy of your child's birth certificate or adoption paperwork to your Human Resources office.

NOTE:  You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after a birth, adoption or other qualifying life event to change your FEHB, FEDVIP, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI enrollment.  For more information on enrollment eligibility by qualifying life event, visit OPM’s Life Events page

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

To add your child to your dental and vision plan, you must first switch your plan to either Self Plus One or to Self and Family coverage. Once you’re enrolled in an appropriate plan, you can add your child to the plan.

Change your plan and enroll your child online at benefeds.com or by calling (877) 888-3337.

NOTE:  You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after a birth, adoption or other qualifying life event to change your FEHB, FEDVIP, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI enrollment.  For more information on enrollment eligibility by qualifying life event, visit OPM’s Life Events page

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Policy (FEGLI)

As a DHS employee with a child, you can increase your FEGLI coverage and/or choose coverage under the Family Option.  If you currently have Basic coverage, you may select Option B, which will allow you to add as many multiples as you have additional family members (spouse and eligible children), up to five multiples.

If you select Option C, you may designate up to five multiples, regardless of the number of eligible family members you have.

You must submit the Life Insurance Election form (SF-2817) along with a copy of the birth certificate or adoption paperwork to your human resources office.

NOTE:  You have a 90-day period beginning 31 days before and ending 60 days after a birth, adoption or other qualifying life event to change your FEHB, FEDVIP, FSAFEDS, or FEGLI enrollment.  For more information on enrollment eligibility by qualifying life event, visit OPM’s Life Events page

Designating a Beneficiary (FEGLI)

If you’d like to designate your child as a beneficiary, complete and submit a new Designation of Beneficiary form to your Human Resources office.

Visit the OPM website to access Designation of Beneficiary forms and instructions.

Flexible Health Savings Accounts (FSAFEDS)

Set aside pretax money for a full range of childcare services with a flexible spending account.  To enroll in an FSAFEDS health care account, you must also be eligible to enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program.

For more information, or to enroll or change your enrollment, contact FSAFEDS at (877) 372-3337, or visit the FSAFEDS website.

Parenting a Child with Special Needs

DHS provides the families of children with special needs one-on-one assistance from knowledgeable experts to help them navigate a variety of challenging issues:

  • Managing family dynamics
  • Advocating for your child – including state laws, regulations, and schools
  • Referrals to available resources in your community

Resource providers vary by component.  Visit TBD for component contact information.

Nursing Mothers Programs

Worksite lactation programs, also known as nursing mothers programs, help ease employees’ transition back to work after childbirth and encourage the continuation of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is strongly associated with positive effects on maternal and child health, and worksite lactation is one of the focus areas of the Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 maternal and child health goals.

It is DHS policy to support maternal and child health by enabling employees to continue breastfeeding when they return to work after the birth of a child by providing private space to express breast milk and reasonable time during the workday to do so.

For details on worksite lactation in your component contact your component nursing mothers program coordinator.

Fatherhood Support

DHS is committed to enabling fathers to play a strong role in their families by encouraging them to take advantage of work/life programs, consult with work/life coordinators about options, and participate in parenting and childcare seminars and support groups.

Contact your component Work/Life Program coordinator for more information about resources available to fathers at DHS.

Additional Resources

DHS components provide employees and their eligible family members no-cost, confidential counseling and financial and legal consultation.

Component-provided no-cost counseling services can help with common parenting challenges:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Helping children cope with divorce
  • Parenting stepchildren
  • Dealing with difficult children
  • Parenting teens
  • Teen substance use

DHS components also provide practical assistance to employees and their families:

  • Adoption Support - including information about the adoption process and referrals to adoption agencies
  • Child Care and Summer Camp Search - including verified availability in your area
  • Child Safety Kit – including tools and information to help you protect your child from today's most prevalent dangers.
  • Lactation Support – including discounts
  • Education Support – including searches for tutors, afterschool programs, and assistance navigating the college application process.

Resource providers vary by component.  Visit TBD for component contact information.

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