SCAN’s Response to COVID-19: Keeping Children & Families Safe

March 18, 2020 — A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM SCAN

Dear Friends and Supporters of SCAN, 

Things are rapidly changing across Northern Virginia as our communities respond to the threat of COVID-19. Over the past week I have been working closely with our staff and board to transition our team to work remotely, rearrange schedules, and think of the best ways to support children and families during an unprecedented time of isolation and anxiety. Though our Family Programs have been canceled through the end of the month, our program staff will be communicating with families via email and text, and sharing resources online as often as possible. Though CASA Volunteers will not make in-person visits with their children, they will continue working on cases and begin using videoconferencing tools like FaceTime to stay in touch with children and caregivers. Though our Allies in Prevention Awards have had to be postponed, we still plan to launch our 2020 public education campaign and make all resources available for download from our site. We expect staff and partners to remain flexible and creative in the coming weeks, as we all have one goal — protecting children and supporting families when they need it most.  

As I’ve worked with our team over the past few days, I am reminded that in times like these we see how committed so many in our community are to making the best (sometimes difficult) decisions for children and families.   

Even with these adjustments, we know that incidences of abuse and neglect are going to skyrocket during this time. 

So, how can you help?

Make a donation to SCAN, and make that donation now.

We will keep you updated as things change, as more resources become available, and as we understand more about how this is impacting children and families. For now, the best way to stay in touch with SCAN is via email or social media. Please take care of yourselves and thank you so much for your continued support of SCAN. 

Leah Fraley, Executive Director
SCAN of Northern Virginia 

 

SCAN, Formed Families Forward, ARC of Loudoun to Host Workshop for Families of Children with Special Needs

On February 24th, SCAN, Formed Families Forward, and ARC of Loudoun will host a 2-hour workshop for parents and families of children with special needs. Caring for a child who has special education needs or has experienced trauma can be challenging. Come battle the mid-year blues with Yolonda Thompson, Family Program Manager of SCAN Family Programs and Kelly Henderson, Ph.D., Executive Director of Formed Families Forward. This winter workshop will help refresh your parenting and problem-solving tool kit with strategies to build resiliency and address mid-school year challenges. Families and educational professionals will come away with practical tools they can use at home and in the classroom.

Families are encouraged to bring questions and documents such as Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to problem solve challenges they and their child are experiencing at home and in the classroom.

Session is FREE; please register at https://refreshtoolbox.eventbrite.com or at www.FormedFamiliesForward.org. Inclement weather date is Monday, March 23, 2020.

Open to all interested parents, caregivers, and professionals, though content will address issues of particular relevance to foster, adoptive and kinship families. We offer training and support to foster, adoptive and kinship families raising children and youth with special needs. Older teens and young adults are welcome to attend. Please note child care for younger children is not available.

Light refreshments will be served at 6 PM; formal program starts at 6:30 PM. No child care is available.

Download the event flyer HERE.

SCAN to Host Annual Advocacy Training December 6th

December 2, 2019 (Woodbridge, Va.)–In conjunction with the Greater Prince William Trauma-Informed Community Network (TICN), SCAN will host its 7th Annual “Speak Up for Children” Advocacy Training on December 6, 2019. The half-day training will provide guidance, legislative updates, and resources to help attendees be more effective advocates.
The training will include:
“State of the Child” Address – Join Chloe Edwards and Mary Beth Testa, Voices for Virginia’s Children, and Ali Faruk, Families Forward Virginia, to explore your role in making change for children and families in Prince William and across the state. Together we will use data and stories to educate local and state decision makers about your needs.

Breakout Sessions, including:

Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences to Build Resilient Communities – Join Allyson Halverson and Heather Martinsen to learn more about the impact that childhood adversity and trauma has on lifetime health and well-being and what communities can do to build a resilient community.

What you need to know about Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly – Join Chloe Edwards, Voices for Virgnia’s Children, and Ali Faruk, Families Forward Virginia, to take a deeper dive into Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly session. Learn what to expect in 2020 and how to team up to advocate for children and families.

Demystifying Meetings and Phone Calls to Legislators – Join Mary Beth Testa, Voices for Virginia’s Children, for an interactive workshop for new advocates. Together we’ll learn about phone calls, emails and in-person meetings with legislators. Participants will have the opportunity to practice applying their new skills in preparation for Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly.

Suggested pathways for your advocacy training day:

  • Are you new to advocacy or just getting started? Go to “Demystifying” in Breakout Session 1 and then head to “Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly” session in Breakout Session 2.
  • Do you have experience standing up for families and are eager to hear what’s happening in Virginia? Check out “Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly” in Session 1 and then head to “Understanding ACES” in Session 2.
  • Are you interested in a deep dive into what children and families are facing and what you can do about it? Check into “Understanding ACES” in Session 1 and then head over to “Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly” in Session 2

Registration is required and costs $10. Register HERE.

SCAN’s Toast to Hope Blue Tie Gala Raises $186,000 for Prevention of Child Abuse in NoVA

November 16, 2019 (Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, VA) — On November 16th, more than 300 supporters attended SCAN’s 17th annual Toast to Hope gala at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington. A record-breaking $186,000 was raised at the event, the first time it was hosted as a “Blue Tie Gala” where guests were invited to wear blue, the national color of child abuse prevention.

The Principle Sponsor of the event was The Robert Yager Family. Champion and Leader Sponsors included Custom Ink, Wells Fargo, McEnearney Associates, and Daniela Spigai Realtor with Homes of Alexandria. Other lead sponsors included Landini Brothers Restaurants (Bar Cart Sponsors), King’s Jewelry (Blue Tie Bar Sponsors) and The Zebra Press (Media Sponsor). Capital Bank sponsored a Photo Booth at the event; a photo gallery of the event is available online at fb.com/SCANVA.

In addition to a cocktail hour, silent auction, and seated dinner, the evening included the presentation of the 2019 Cleary Award to Lt. General Pete Cuviello and Donna Fleming Cuviello. Donna and Pete have been champions of SCAN for nearly a decade. They each had long, successful careers—Donna in human services and national nonprofit management, along with executive management in the private sector, and Pete in information technology and cyber security as a Lt. General and ultimately the CIO/G6 for the U.S. Army and then as a Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche. In 2013, Donna joined SCAN’s Board of Directors and spent the next five years taking on leadership roles, eventually serving as Board President. Donna currently serves as the Honorary Board’s Chairwomen. Donna and Pete’s team investment of leadership, time, and finances has affected not only SCAN’s strategy, but ultimately its impact on children and families in our community.

Toast to Hope: A Blue Tie Affair raised critical funds for SCAN’s growing child abuse prevention programs, and is especially significant this year as the organization completes its 30th year of programming that protects children and prevents child abuse across Northern Virginia.

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About SCAN of Northern Virginia

SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now) is the only region-wide organization focused on preventing child abuse and neglect across Northern Virginia. We believe every child deserves a safe, stable, nurturing home. Keeping children safe and helping them thrive require a continuum of prevention programs that engage families, professionals, and community members. With a core focus on the wellbeing of every child — and a deep understanding of the complexity of child development, abuse, and trauma — we work to empower the four groups surrounding a child:

  • Families, including parents and other caregivers, through our Family Programs,
  • Advocates for children, especially for those already in the court system, through the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program,
  • Child welfare professionals, such as CPS workers and educators, through our Professional Development Program, and
  • Community members, through our Public Education Program.

We believe every one of these groups is on the front lines of prevention, and SCAN’s role is to engage and empower these adults to take an active role in the protection of children.

Learn more at www.scanva.org

SCAN and Certified FETI team up to bring science-based trauma interviewing to Northern Virginia law enforcement

August 20, 2019 (Falls Church, VA) — SCAN of Northern Virginia will be hosting the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI®) training in Falls Church, from October 7-11, 2019 at the Inova Center for Personalized Health Conference Center. FETI provides interviewers with a science-informed interviewing framework, an approach being used internationally by law enforcement, universities, healthcare providers, and other professionals who interview regularly. 

Thanks to funding from Northern Virginia Health Foundation, interested professionals are invited to apply for scholarships to cover the cost of the training opportunity. Applications are due by September 6, 2019. 

Certified FETI training teaches interviewers the neuroscience on how memory is encoded and recalled during high stress or trauma and provides them with a science and practice-based interviewing methodology aimed at maximizing opportunities for information collection. In addition, the training provides interviewers with a framework to accurately document traumatic experiences in a neutral, equitable and fair manner. 

“Traditional interviewing techniques focus on sequencing and twodimensional questions like the who, what, where, how and why,” says Dan Jimmerson, the Chief Operating Officer at Certified FETI. “Instead, we teach interviewers to use Brain-based Cues that help unlock experiential details that are central to that individual’s experience, ultimately producing greater opportunities for a larger quantity of information and veracity in the interview.”   

Certified FETI offers a full path to certification for individuals and organizations across the world that are looking for standardized, accountable, and transparent interviews.  

“We believe that one way to prevent abuse is to help every adult better understand trauma and its impact,” says Allyson Halverson, Director of Professional Development at SCAN. “By bringing a training like FETI to Northern Virginia, we can empower professionals in our community to incorporate trauma informed practices into their work.” 

To download the scholarship application, please visit www.scanva.org/feti  

To learn more about the FETI training program, please visit www.certifiedfeti.com/events 

ABOUT SCAN OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA 

SCAN is the  only region-wide organization focused solely on preventing child abuse and neglect across Northern Virginia. With a core focus on the wellbeing of every child — and a deep understanding of the complexity of child development, abuse, and trauma — we work to engage the four groups surrounding a child:  

  • Families, including parents and other caregivers  
  • Advocates for children, especially for those already in the court system  
  • Child welfare professionals, such as CPS workers and educators  
  • Community members  

Learn more about SCAN’s programs at scanva.org.  

ABOUT CERTIFIED FETI 

Certified FETI® is the founding and governing body of the official Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview, a science and practice-based interviewing methodology informed by the latest research on the neurobiology of trauma and memory. 

The Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview (FETI®) provides interviewers with a science-informed interviewing framework that maximizes opportunities for information collection and accurately documents the participant’s experience in a neutral, equitable, and fair manner. 

To learn more about the FETI or how to become FETI certified, www.certifiedfeti.com.

SCAN and Arlington DHS Host First “Youth in Transition” Conference

April 26, 2019—On April 26th, more than 75 at-risk youth and youth aging out of foster care attended the inaugural Arlington Youth in Transition Conference. SCAN of Northern Virginia’s CASA Program and the Arlington County Department of Human Services hosted the event for local youth ages 14-21. 

As children in the foster care system get older (and eventually “age-out”) they face new challenges. They need to prepare to function as independent adults without the same supports and connections their peers have in place.

 “We need to connect these teenagers with the resources needed to transition into adulthood,” noted Amy Wilker, Director of SCAN’s CASA Program

Workshops, panel discussions, and more information were available on a variety of topics including employment services, educational options, financial management, health, and housing. The event also provided an opportunity for youth to “shop” for personal care items as well as win gift cards to local stores

“For older youth and teens in the system, even the simplest of items—things like deodorant, a toothbrush or even a coffee—can be difficult to come by,” added Wilker. We are incredibly grateful for the hundreds of toiletry and gift card donations provided for teens to pick up at the event.”  

District Taco provided lunch for youth and adults at the conference. Other sponsors of the event include Kiwanis of AlexandriaCommunity Foundation of ArlingtonGordon Shin, and Together We RiseOsiris Hoil, District Taco CEO and SCAN Board Member, said the choice to support this new event was simple.

“When I first came to America, I struggled to support myself. So being able to provide a meal to others means a lot to me,” shared Hoil. “It is important to us that we get involved in the community in any way we can. If we can make it so that someone doesn’t have to choose between a meal and basic necessities even for one day, we’ll do whatever it takes.”

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About SCAN of Northern Virginia

We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented.  

Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports the child needs  to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.

SCAN’s Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program provides trained volunteers appointed by the court to serve as a voice for children in the juvenile court system. Last year, the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program  provided volunteer advocates (or “CASAs”) to more than 164 children in Alexandria and Arlington, and more than 20% were age 14 or older.

Learn more at www.scanva.org/casa

SCAN Honors 2019 Allies in Prevention Award Winners

April 5, 2019–SCAN celebrated the work of five local heroes at the 17th Annual Allies in Prevention Awards to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. With special guest emcee Leon Harris from NBC4, the event also featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Heather Pfeifer, who presented an introduction to the compelling Illuminations training. The event was made possible by sponsors including AT&T, Inova, and Burke & Herbert Bank.

The 2019 Allies in Prevention Awards were presented to:

Annette Amendiola | Alexandria

Annette Amendiola is a Deputy Court Clerk in the City of Alexandria’s Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court. In a role where she is certainly not required to go above and beyond for the many children she sees in court every day—that’s exactly what she does.

“She has great concern for Alexandria’s children alleged to be abused and neglected,” notes her nominator, who witnesses her care and attention to detail, whether it’s ensuring a file is processed in a timely manner or being certain legal procedures are followed. Her goal is always to make sure that the most vulnerable children are able to have their hearings on schedule and without delay. She calls attorneys, social workers, and CASA volunteers to alert them about everything from necessary forms to new appointments. Annette is a shining example of how any person who comes in contact with children can prioritize their wellbeing and have a positive impact on their lives.

Kendra Burlingame | Arlington

Kendra Burlingame is a CASA Volunteer with the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program. Immediately after being sworn in as a volunteer in the Fall of 2016, Kendra was assigned to advocate for three siblings in Arlington. She has been tirelessly advocating for them ever since—committing more than 440 hours to their case in that time. This includes meeting with the children and their mother, attending school and DHS meetings, and working with other professionals involved in the case. When the children moved to Maryland, Kendra did not let distance keep her from her work. She helped them prepare for the change by helping the mother with financial assistance for before and after-school care, attending IEP meetings, and meeting with old and new teachers to plan a smooth transition for the children. What’s more, Kendra continues to meet with the family on a monthly basis. Judges and GALs have commended her in court, and her nominator knows why:

“Kendra’s love for and commitment to children who have been abused and neglected is obvious through her hard work, motivation and compassion in her role as an advocate.”

Adriana Hill | Prince William

Adriana Hill is a School Parent Liaison at Westgate Elementary School in the Prince William County School district. Like many parent liaisons, she talks to parents, teaches parenting classes, and works with volunteers. But Adriana’s nominator describes her as “a feisty, determined trailblazer,” which means her work does not stop there. Westgate is 80% Spanish-speaking, and 100% of the students walk to school. Many of the students are dealing with the challenges of immigration, drugs, gangs, and poverty.

“Adriana works tirelessly to address the needs of the whole child,” notes her nominator. Adriana worked to establish a school food bank—the only one in Prince William County—as well as a holiday gift drive for students in need. She is a trained Systematic Training for Effective Parenting class facilitator, and spent free time in her summers at Parent Facilitator training with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

“Adriana understands that meeting the physical, emotional, and educational needs of a family helps reduce and eliminate child abuse and neglect,” adds her nominator. “She does this work without fanfare. She humbly and happily relishes the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of students.”

Suheir Kafri | Loudoun

Suheir Kafri is the lead social worker at the ADAMS (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) Center, a faith-based nonprofit that serves more than 6,000 children and families in the region. In her role, Suheir recognized the importance of talking about child sexual abuse prevention. She worked with the administration to bring the sometimes difficult issue to the forefront of discussions, eventually scheduling a Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training for all leaders working with youth at the center. She received such a positive reaction, notes her nominator, for “stepping out in boldness to bring such a tough topic to the organization…It takes courage to go against what others may feel is unnecessary and step out in faith.” Suheir also serves on the Loudoun Trauma-Informed Community Network’s steering committee, working collaboratively to build trauma awareness across Loudoun County. Her commitment to educating community members on topics like child sexual abuse and trauma is changing lives.

“Suheir Krafi is a kind, courageous force,” adds her nominator. “She’s a true champion of child abuse prevention.”

Mary Beth Salomone Testa | Fairfax

Mary Beth Salomone Testa is the Northern Virginia consultant for Voices for Virginia’s Children, the commonwealth’s only independent, multi-issue child policy and advocacy organization. In her role with Voices, Mary Beth is a tireless champion of children’s rights and wellbeing. She connects with countless agencies, programs and advocates here in Northern Virginia—then carries the region’s voices, stories, and data to Richmond to advocate on behalf of our community’s children and families. Mary Beth advocates for smart policies and investments for child and family well-being; works to ensure policy makers are considering the whole child and family; and empowers advocates to tell the stories behind the data. Her passionate work at SCAN’s Advocacy Day this year, for example, resulted in parents and other community members turning their firsthand experience with abuse and trauma into impactful stories that can change the way elected officials both understand and create policy around critical issues.

“She believes passionately that every one of us can use our voice to make a real impact,” notes her nominator. “Mary Beth is a genuine champion of children’s rights.”

Explore a photo gallery from the event on SCAN’s Facebook page here.

Burke & Herbert Bank Hosting Coin Drive for SCAN

April 5, 2019 – Burke & Herbert Bank is raising funds for SCAN of Northern Virginia’s child abuse prevention programs through its annual coin drive throughout the month of April—National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Community members can make coin donations to SCAN at any of the Bank’s branches, and Burke & Herbert Bank will match all coin donations up to a total of $2,000.

“Burke & Herbert Bank is proud to support SCAN and its work to prevent child abuse in our community,” said Terry Cole, Burke & Herbert Bank Executive Vice President. “We are inviting our customers, branch visitors, and team members to show their support for children in our community and are pleased to be able to make participating in the coin drive convenient by accepting donations at all 25 of our branches.”

“More than 10,000 children were reported as abused or neglected in Northern Virginia last year alone,” said Leah Fraley, SCAN’s Executive Director. “We’re grateful for partners like Burke & Herbert Bank who help us raise funds to support our prevention programs as well as help us build awareness across Northern Virginia about the devastating consequences of child abuse and neglect. “

Burke & Herbert Bank, established in 1852, is the oldest bank in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the oldest continuously operating bank in the Washington, D.C. area.  The Bank offers a full range of personal and business banking products and services to meet customers’ banking, borrowing and investing needs. Burke & Herbert Bank is headquartered in Alexandria and operates 25 branches in northern Virginia.  Visit burkeandherbertbank.com. Member FDIC.

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SCAN to Host Toiletry Drive for Older Youth in Care

February 14, 2019—During the months of February and March, SCAN of Northern Virginia is accepting donations of toiletry items for local teens and older youth in the foster care system. Gift cards and donations are also welcome in support of the drive.  (Download a Wish List for the drive here.)

“For older youth and teens in the system, even the simplest of items—things like deodorant, tampons, even a coffee—can be difficult to come by,” notes Amy Wilker, SCAN’s CASA Program Manager. “Especially when it’s a choice between a meal or personal care.”

The items collected during the drive will be distributed at the Arlington Youth in Transition Conference on April 26, 2019. In partnership with the Arlington County Department of Human Services, SCAN’s Alexandria/Arlington CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Program is co-hosting the event for youth in care ages 14-21. Participants will enjoy workshops, panel discussions, voter registration, and more. They’ll also be able to “shop” for the personal care items they need most, choosing from items donated to the Toiletry Drive.

As children in the foster care system get older (and eventually “age-out”) they face new challenges. They need to prepare to function as independent adults without the same supports and connections many other children have in place.

“If we want them to be successful and independent, older youth need consistent, supportive adults in their lives,” adds Wilker. “That’s a role our CASA volunteers can fill when they are assigned to cases with older youth.” Last year, the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program provided volunteer advocates (or “CASAs”) to more than 164 children in Alexandria and Arlington, and more than 20% were age 14 or older.

“But we also need to connect them with the resources needed to transition into adulthood,” notes Wilker. “That’s why this conference is so important.” Information will be available on a variety of topics, including employment services, educational options, financial management, health, and housing.

District Taco will be providing lunch for youth and adults at the conference. Osiris Hoil, District Taco CEO and SCAN Board Member, said the choice to support this new event was simple.

“When I first came to America I struggled to support myself, so being able to provide a meal to others means a lot to me,” shares Hoil. “It is important to us that we get involved in the community in any way we can. If we can make it so that someone doesn’t have to choose between a meal and basic necessities even for one day, we’ll do whatever it takes.”

Toiletry Drive Donations must be new and full-sized toiletry items and are limited to items on this list:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
  • Q-Tips
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Mouthwash
  • Body Lotion
  • Brushes & Combs
  • Face Wash & Acne Cleansers
  • (No Razors Please)

Additional donations can include Gift Cards for:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Chain restaurants
  • Local restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Starbucks

All donations must be coordinated with SCAN’s main office. We recommend coordinating a drive at your workplace, faith group, or community organization!

To plan your donations, please contact Amy Wilker: awilker@scanva.org. For more information about the drive, please visit scanva.org/casa.

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About SCAN of Northern Virginia 

We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented. For three decades, SCAN of Northern Virginia has been working throughout the region to develop effective prevention programming for all children and families, no matter what their circumstances.  Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports the child needs to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.  

 Thanks to our donors, partners, and volunteers, we are living our mission and promoting the well-being of children, improving parent-child relations and preventing child abuse and neglect through three core strengths:  

  • Parent Education Program, to provide direct parent education; 
  • Public Education Program, to educate the community about the scope, nature, and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; and 
  • Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program, to advocate for children in the community, the legislature and the courts. 

Learn more at www.scanva.org

 

 

 

 

 

SCAN of Northern Virginia Opens Loudoun Office 

January 31, 2019—SCAN of Northern Virginia opened a new office in Loudoun County this month. In addition to its main office in Alexandria, the new space—located at 18 Export Drive in Sterling, Va.—will provide opportunities and space to coordinate with community partners as the organization works to strengthen children and nurture families in Loudoun County.

“This exciting new space will help us reach more children and families in Northern Virginia,” said Leah Fraley, SCAN Executive Director. “We’ve worked with community partners in Loudoun for a number of years, but this space—as well as a dedicated staff person focused on Loudoun County—signifies a commitment to strengthening our connections and playing a more significant role in the community.”

SCAN currently offers parenting classes and workshops in Loudoun County and facilitates the Loudoun Trauma-Informed Community Network (TICN). In 2017, through a grant from the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, SCAN facilitated the publication Resilient Children, Resilient Loudoun, a report on the needs of children in the county and recommendations to best support Loudoun County’s most vulnerable children and families.

In March, SCAN will host an official “launch party” to engage local organizations, elected officials, and funders, as well as facilitate new opportunities for partnership in the County. SCAN is also now a member of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce.

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About SCAN

We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented. For three decades, SCAN of Northern Virginia has been working throughout the region to develop effective prevention programming for all children and families, no matter what their circumstances. Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the support needed to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.

Thanks to our donors, partners, and volunteers, we are living our mission and promoting the well-being of children, improving parent-child relations and preventing child abuse and neglect by educating the community about the scope, nature, and consequences of child abuse and neglect and the importance of positive, nurturing parenting; providing direct parent education; and advocating for children in the community, the legislature and the courts.

Learn more at www.scanva.org.

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SCAN