April 27, 2018 — It is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that the Board of Directors announces Sonia Quiñónez’s resignation as the executive director for SCAN of Northern Virginia effective June 15, 2018. Since 2004, Sonia has played a critical role in the development and success of SCAN, as both the executive director over the past 8 years and previously as the development director. She leaves SCAN in a strong position; we sincerely thank her for her contributions and leadership.
SCAN’s Board of Directors has a transition committee that is working with Sonia to implement our succession plan. The process of selecting a new leader has provided the board an opportunity to assess not only what at SCAN is important to sustain and continue but also how we position SCAN to respond to the trends, challenges and opportunities.
Vicarious trauma. Compassion fatigue. Secondary traumatic stress. Burnout. These are all things that those of us working in helping professions experience. There are some similarities between the four but there are also many differences. Recently, over 80 “helpers” shared a day together, learning about everything from the basics of trauma to how to cope with the effects of the daily struggles we face working in such a vulnerable field. Knowing more about the environment we work in is half the battle to remaining balanced and effective.
Chrissy Cunningham, MSW the Prevention Coordination Specialist from the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services presented Trauma 101, emphasizing the importance of understanding trauma and the need for positive relationships to manage the effects of trauma.
Allyson Halverson BS, CCLS, CTP a Certified Child Life Specialist I at the Pediatrics Department of Inova Loudoun Hospital talked about the various traumas children are faced with in a hospital setting and how trauma can lead to fears and phobias into adulthood.
Lori Wolkoff, Victim Specialist – Washington Field Office and Barry E. Moore, Unit Chief, Child Victim Services Unit shared their experiences in the FBI Victims Assistance Program and the coordination and care needed for victims of varying traumas and experiences.
John Walker, Ph.D., LMFT with the Family Connections program at Loudoun County Department of Family Services ended the day with a humorous and vulnerable discussion on Compassion Fatigue.
For highlights of the day including links to speakers and resources, visit our Storify page here.
In recent weeks, children and parents across the country have faced hurricanes and wildfires. Families in some cities have seen racially-motivated violence on their streets. Just this week, a school in Washington state was the site of another mass shooting. When a child is affected by events like these, what can we do to help? Knowing how to define trauma is an important first step. We define trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that may overwhelm a child’s ability to cope, and it’s important to note that there is a wide continuum of experiences that might qualify, from sexual abuse to natural disaster to food insecurity.
By understanding what trauma is, we can begin to understand trauma’s impact as well as how we can respond to trauma experienced by our community’s children. We’ve published a series of new tools and collected a few other excellent resources to support you in this work:
For many parents, talking about race with children is a difficult concept. Adults often question how much children already know and how much information is appropriate to share, while balancing a need to protect children from the United States’ complicated (and often violent) racial history.
We recently taped a Parenting Today segment on this topic with guest Natalie Bailey from the Department of Family Services in Fairfax County through out partnership with iHeartRadio. LISTEN HERE!
It is important to note that children are perceptive, and often pick up the nuances of race even without direct commentary. Adults need to realize there may be awkward moments, but by engaging children in conversations about race at an early age and continuing to do so throughout adolescence, parents have an opportunity to shape children’s self-esteem as well as perspectives in regards to race. Each moment is a learning opportunity to affirm children’s questions, challenge stereotypes, and teach children how to navigate an increasingly racially diverse community in positive, productive ways.
In the radio show linked above, Sonia and Natalie also mention three books that may be a good starting point for families:
SCAN is pleased to be partnering with Smart Beginnings Prince William County to offer valuable Workshops on Safe Sleep to the Greater Prince William community. The first workshop will be offered on Tuesday, February 21st at 4 pm at the Hylton Education Center at Sentara Hospital.
The FREE workshop is ideal for service providers, health care providers, parents, expecting parents, caregivers, childcare providers and anyone interested in helping spread awareness and information about safe sleep.
Tracy Leonard, SCAN’s Public Education Manager, will present the workshops using materials and information we have compiled through our Operation Safe Babies Program. Those attending will:
SCAN is often fortunate to have the energy and support of MSW interns on staff. This year, we are thrilled to welcome Chamone Marshall. Wonder what she’s been up to at SCAN so far? We chatted with her this week on the blog:
SCAN: Where are you attending school/for what degree?
CHAMONE: I am currently in my fifth semester at the University of Southern California, working towards a Master of Social Work degree in Community Organization, Planning and Administration (COPA) an elaborate title for macro-level social work. The University of Southern California’s Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work program guides students through three semesters of field placement, designed to enhance students’ understanding of vulnerable populations, social and economic injustice and pressing societal problems. I am pleased to spend all three semesters as a Master of Social Work intern at SCAN.
MSW Intern Chamone Marshall (right) with SCAN Development Coordinator Sam Hagenow.
SCAN: What at SCAN resonates with you?
CHAMONE: SCAN’s model of engaging the individual, family and community through their child advocacy, parent-education and public education programs is an ideal medium for academic and professional growth. The diverse structure of SCAN has allotted me the opportunity to work on grant applications, revise volunteer outreach media, and attend relevant community events fostering a more thorough understanding of social service agencies.
SCAN: What is your favorite experience at SCAN so far?
CHAMONE: While each task, meeting and event provides unique opportunities, witnessing SCAN’s collaboration with iHeartRadio demonstrated an innovative manner for social service organizations to connect with the communities they serve. The opportunity to hear the career paths of some of Virginia’s leaders in social services, and their expertise on issues ranging from discussing race with children in the midst of a racial charged climate to the continuing impact of adverse childhood experiences, through monthly radio sessions shows how vast non-profits outreach can be, and the many ways that agencies can connect with those in need. The medium of communication, radio, highlighted that serving one’s community extends beyond the identified client, and that when broadcast correctly messaging can reach and benefit individuals who may never come in direct contact with a social service agency.
SCAN: What kinds of projects are you working on? What else do you hope to accomplish/work on during your time at SCAN?
CHAMONE: I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a portion of each of SCAN’s programs, and I hope to continue to contribute as needs arise. To date, I have worked on projects that I’ve had little or no experience in, particularly the research and compilation involved in grant writing, through out the next I hope that SCAN continues to provide new opportunities. Like many SCAN affiliates I am looking forward to Croquet Day, and Toast to Hope and getting to be a part of the behind the scenes elements that make a large scale event a success.
There have been countless (and often conflicting) news stories in recent weeks about immigration in the United States. In our networks, the discussion–for years–has simply focused on how we can best care for and support these families. What is it like to be an immigrant and a parent? What are the unique fears, challenges, and needs faced by these families?
Please consider sharing our resources with the professionals and parents in your own networks:
We know how critical it is that parents stay connected with their communities, especially when they are isolating themselves out of fear or frustration.
Please share our newest Parent Connection Resource Guide with parents in your network. With more than 80 parenting classes, support groups, workshops and more for parents across Northern Virginia, it also includes a key to find programs offered in Spanish and other languages, as well as those that provide childcare.
How are you keeping parents connected in your community? We’d love to include your programs in our next issue–let us know!
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 babies born in the U.S. that will become victims of child sexual abuse unless we do something to stop it.
FACT: Child sexual abuse often takes place under specific, often surprising circumstances. It is helpful to know these circumstances because it allows for the development of strategies to avoid child sexual abuse.
81% of child sexual abuse incidents for all ages occur in one-perpetrator/one-child circumstances.
Most sexual abuse of children occurs in a residence, typically that of the victim or perpetrator – 84% for children under age 12, and 71% for children aged 12 to 17.
Sexual assaults on children are most likely to occur at 8 a.m., 12 p.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m. For older children, aged 12 to 17, there is also a peak in assaults in the late evening hours.
One in seven incidents of sexual assault perpetrated by juveniles occurs on school days in the after-school hours between 3 and 7 p.m., with a peak from 3 to 4 pm.
FACT: SCAN trained 213 individuals last year in the Stewards of Children curriculum, and we are scheduling trainings NOW for the year ahead across Northern Virginia.We need YOU to invite us to train individuals in the agencies, school districts, childcare centers, rec centers and faith groups in your community.
Ready to take action to protect children and empower adults in 2017? Contact Tracy Leonard, Public Education Manager, at tleonard(at)scanva.org for details or to schedule a training.
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
This will be the 15th year we celebrate the heroes who work passionately for the children, families and communities of Northern Virginia. Who will we honor this April (during National Child Abuse Prevention Month) with a 2017 Ally in Prevention Award? That’s up to you!
Nominations are now open: please submit a nomination for someone in your community who is “rising above” in their efforts to prevent child abuse, support parents or strengthen families. Who can SCAN’s Allies in Prevention Coalition lift up with this honor? Who can we celebrate as a true leader? Who is someone who sets an example for all of us in the way they protect children and put their community first?