SCAN Story: Doug Brown
As a former SCAN Board member and the current Child Protective Services Program Manager for the City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services, Doug Brown demonstrates that supporting families and children can be simultaneously an occupation and a passion.
SCAN’s former Executive Director, Diane Charles, played a significant role in recruiting Doug to SCAN’s Board in 2000 and keeping him involved for a second term. As an advocate for children, Doug was an outspoken opponent during a Virginia Committee Meeting regarding foster parents’ use of “reasonable” corporal punishment as a method of discipline. Recognizing many foster youths’ history of physical abuse, Doug delivered a sincere testimony against the use of physical punishment, wanting to stop the cycle of violence children experience. His testimony contributed to the bill’s eventual failure and fueled Doug’s role, promoting advocacy, on the SCAN Board.
Since transitioning from SCAN’s Board, Doug remains comforted by SCAN’s continued geographic and programmatic expansion, believing that SCAN’s unique ability to reach families where they are at remains a community need. Through his many years of service, Doug has witnessed SCAN’s role in preventing, reducing and healing communities adversely impacted by child abuse through the Parent Education Program’s parenting classes, the Public Education Program’s prevention initiatives, and CASA’s voice in the community. In supporting the organization’s mission, Doug speaks highly of SCAN’s ability to recruit and retain dedicated volunteers, noting that as decades have passed it is comforting to see both new and familiar faces at annual events such as Toast to Hope, who remain committed to serving Northern Virginia families and children.
As an individual whose professional and volunteer experiences often include difficult situations and subjects, Doug is a strong proponent of self-care. Doug notes that one of the benefits of volunteering with an organization like SCAN is that the organization cares about the health of every individual connected to the organization, encouraging self-care among Board Members, volunteers and staff. Stating that “you cannot take care of others without first taking care of yourself,” Doug has found joy in biking throughout the DMV, attending church and taking a couple weeks every year to hike parts of the Appalachian Trail.
As an unwavering advocate for families and children, Doug believes that there is always an opportunity to learn from individuals within our community; and with community engagement and response we can work together to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect.