Category: Trends & Research 

What Does it Mean to Be a Trauma Informed Organization?

Have you explored our trauma informed care resources for parents? You’ve heard us talk about this topic from a direct child services perspective (see our blog post here), as well as an advocacy perspective (such as this blog we re-posted from Voices for Virginia’s Children) as it relates to legislation. But how do we change whole organizations to better […]

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Child Abuse in Northern Virginia: The Numbers

As we reflect on the impact of our programs in 2017, it’s an important time for us to gather new data about children and families in our communities. One of our favorite resources for statistics is Voices for Virginia’s Children, especially their links to the Kids Count Data Center, a project of the Annie E. Casey […]

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On November 16th, a Chance to Hone Your Advocacy Skills

For individuals committed to the well-being of Northern Virginia’s children and families, SCAN’s 6th Annual “Speak Up for Children” Advocacy Training event — made possible by Verizon — is a unique opportunity to learn more about a legislative process that impacts both how children and families receive care, as well as the institutions that deliver said […]

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Addressing Trauma Together: Inspiration from Voices for Virginia’s Children

Last month, Voices for Virginia’s Children published an important blog post about state-wide collaboration and its impact on children who have experienced trauma. They shared three states we can watch for best practices and policy, and we’re re-posting their thoughts today as we continue the discussion about Trauma Informed Care (listen to our recent radio show on […]

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Foster Care Awareness

May is National Foster Care month, a 31-day period set aside to recognize the many individuals, families, agencies and communities that support the 427,000 children in foster care nationally. In Northern Virginia, approximately 5,000 children and adolescents are involved in the child welfare system at any given moment. These youth range in age from birth to […]

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A Safe Sleep Question: Are Cardboard Boxes Safe?

In recent months, we’ve been hearing more about the use of cardboard boxes as a replacement for bassinets. Our Operation Safe Babies partner, Cribs For Kids, has released a helpful response detailing why they do NOT endorse cardboard boxes as safe sleep environments and will continue to recommend only Pack-n-Plays. In a recent post (shared in part, […]

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3 Facts on Child Sexual Abuse, Prevention and SCAN of Northern Virginia

  FACT: Child sexual abuse is far more prevalent than most people realize.   Child sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences.   About one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.   This year, there will be about 400,000 […]

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Help Parents Prepare: Safe Sleep for Babies on New Year’s Eve

Although the exact cause of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is unknown, we do know what risk factors can contribute to SIDS.   The following may increase the risk of SIDS: • Sleeping on the stomach • Being around cigarette smoke while in the womb or after being born • Sleeping in the same […]

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Teen Suicide (Part 2)…What You Must Know from the Inside Out

This week we once again welcome Gretchen E. Downey, Prevention Expert and Best-Selling Author, as she shares her expertise on preventing suicide in – and strengthening our communication with – the teenagers in our lives. This is the second post in a two-part series: Ruling out genetics and specific pathologies related to mental health and suicide, there still […]

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The Neurobiology of Trauma: An Important Introduction

  On October 5, SCAN—with support from LAWS (Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter) and its Loudoun Child Advocacy Center—brought together 129 local human service providers to hear Dr. Chris Wilson talk about The Neurobiology of Trauma. This relatively new approach allows those of us who work with children (including law enforcement, school staff, social workers and foster parents) to […]

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FAQs: Parents Ask Us About Safe Sleep

Since launching our Operation Safe Babies program last year, we’ve provided safe, portable cribs to more than 325 parents across Northern Virginia. We’ve also answered hundreds of their questions about how to make sleep safe for their babies. October is Safe Sleep Awareness Month, the perfect time to share some of the most common questions […]

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27 Children: A must-read on keeping kids safe in cars

Twenty-seven. 27 children in the U.S. have died from being left in a car this year alone. There is record heat in many parts of the country with more than one month of summer ahead of us, and the arrival of fall does not automatically mean cooler temperatures. As service providers and those who advocate for children […]

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Get Kids Outside! What is Nature Deprivation?

The average child spends LESS THAN 10 MINUTES each day outside for unstructured playtime. At the same time, we watch as the children we serve face increased stress levels, mental health issues, rising levels of obesity and huge amounts of time spent on computers and other devices. Nature Deprivation happens when children (and adults, too!) aren’t […]

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5 Ways to Begin Helping Refugee & Immigrant Parents

It’s estimated that one in every 122 people in the world has been uprooted from their homes due to conflict or persecution. Here in an increasingly diverse Northern Virginia, we see the impact of immigration, reunification and the refugee crisis on local children and adults. How can we support these families in our community? How […]

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What Does Safe Sleep Look Like?

It has only been 20 years since the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) began recommending U.S. babies always be placed on their backs for sleeping to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Many have caught on to the NICHD’s “Back to Sleep” campaign, but there is so much […]

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What Just Happened? And What’s Next?

  Our Executive Director Sonia Quiñónez spent time meeting with Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and other regional affiliates this week. Much of the discussion focused on what’s next for children and families in the Commonwealth. We’ve blogged a few times this year about the General Assembly and what’s happening in Richmond. Now that the dust […]

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Building Capacity, Reaching Our Tipping Point

Darkness to Light has aspired to reach a tipping point with adults in their home state of South Carolina to make sure that they are “actively preventing child sexual abuse by training 5% of the adult population to prevent, recognize and react to child sexual abuse!”  This idea comes from The Tipping Point, a book […]

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Reunification – en Español

SCAN’s work with immigrant families in our Parent Education Program often involves the issue of reunification — when children and parents are reunited after long periods of time living apart in different countries. Jessica Gutierrez Foster, one of SCAN’s Parent Education facilitators,  was recently interviewed for a special report on Univision covering unaccompanied immigrant youth and the challenges they face […]

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Strengthening Families: 3 Key Ideas for Professionals

Last month, SCAN held its second facilitator training for the Strengthening Families Program, this time with a focus on the curriculum for elementary aged children (6-11). Heather Eshleman and Larry Williams, from the Strengthening Families Foundation, led the two-day training, sharing their expertise and extensive experience with the program. Here are our three main takeaways […]

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The Sibling Factor: What We Might Learn in China

Dr. Avidan Milevsky presented on the topic of siblings at an Allies in Prevention Coalition meeting in 2013, and will serve as the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Allies in Prevention Awards in April. (Nominations for the award are open and must be submitted by February 12th.) Dr. Milevsky’s recent article for The Huffington Post brings to […]

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A Tipping Point in Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

Do you know what a “tipping point” is? Malcolm Gladwell’s book by the same name has championed the idea in recent years: The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. How exciting to hear that a fellow Darkness to Light partner […]

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