SCAN Hosts 7th Annual Advocacy Training

November 30, 2018–SCAN held its 7th Annual “Speak Up for Children” Training for Advocates in Virginia on Friday November 30th fat the South County Government Center in Alexandria. More than 50 guests attended.

The day began with an “Advocacy 101” training from Johanna Schuchert, Co-Founder and former Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. This was followed by a “State of the Child” report from Voices for Virginia’s Children‘s Mary Beth Testa, who also provided an update on the organization’s recently launched Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia.

During the panel discussion portion of the training, Sen. Dave Marsden‘s Legislative Assistant Matt Rogers and Lynn Victorson with NAMI offered invaluable insight to effective tactics for understanding the process and working directly with elected officials and their staff.

Children and families were at the forefront of Virginia’s 2018 General Assembly, with key bills and ideas funding support. A major win for families in 2018 was agreement on Medicaid Expansion, which took years of advocacy together! The General Assembly also tackled school suspension and expulsion, invested in prevention including early care and education, and called for more work on trauma-informed policy and practice in state agencies. Federal law is also being implemented in Virginia, including child welfare, child care, and opioid addiction services.

This year, advocates for children and families are encouraged to attend the 2019 Budget Hearing in Northern Virginia, which will take place on January 3rd at 10:00 a.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035.