SCAN is making a difference, not only in the lives of the children and families who are served by the outstanding volunteer CASA advocates and parenting education facilitators, but also through its massive public awareness campaign. SCAN's message is that parenting is a skill that everyone needs to know more about. Nothing prevents child abuse and neglect more effectively than a parent who feels valued and more confident.
Having served for over ten years as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate ("CASA") in Alexandria and Arlington, I want to thank SCAN for the leadership, training, support and encouragement that have enabled me to be an effective voice for children in our communities. SCAN has not only helped me to speak more capably for the children I represent in court, but has equipped me to work more closely and effectively with individual parents, extended families, caregivers, social services and other agencies to meet each child's needs.
For the past 8 years I have co-facilitated parenting classes with SCAN. When I began I had no particular vision for my future with the organization, I was just interested in contributing to their mission. I am now dedicated, long-term, to SCAN, its mission and its programs.
The opportunity to work with diverse populations has allowed me to see how universal it is for parents to want the best for their children and to do the best they can based on their knowledge and experience. SCAN's ABC's of Parenting classes significantly impact parents, children and families because of their strengths-based approach to addressing parenting challenges.
I learn more about myself, my family and the power of community every time I facilitate class. I get to see parents from our classes at community events, in restaurants, at local stores. It is usually a surprise to see them and the encounter usually begins or ends with a hug.
Through the years SCAN staff has changed and moved on. What remains consistent is their ability to identify just the right mission-driven people to continue SCAN's quality and impact in our region.
Almost 5 children die every day from child abuse. Seventy five percent of those are under the age of 4, my daughter Lucy’s age. In Northern Virginia, more than 8,000 children were reported as suspected of being abused or neglected last year. Nearly 1,000 Northern Virginia children are living in foster care and still more families are struggling with the challenges of parenting even though their situation has not yet risen to a level that leads to a child protective services report.
SCAN's desire to advocate for children in need--and focus on positive parenting and family relationships truly resonates and provides a real service to Northern Virginia. It's programs are essential to preventing child abuse, supporting community partners and educating Northern Virginia to support a happy, health and very positive environment for each and every child.
At a time when I was new to the community and was looking for a way to give back, SCAN/CASA seemed like the perfect opportunity! As a CASA volunteer I was able to focus on making a difference directly in a child's life. The CASA training was excellent in preparing me for the different situations I might face, and knowing that the CASA staff was behind me and supporting me 100% made serving as a CASA an invaluable experience! I know of few organizations where all of your gifts, talents and abilities are exercised and strengthened through your service to children. I know of even fewer organizations where your service can really makes a difference in the life of a child.
SCAN is an amazing organization. They help our protect our youngest and most helpless victims from abuse and neglect. They also work hard to educate parents about positive parenting strategies and give them tools to raise happy, healthy, safe children. I cannot say enough about the work that SCAN does.
Child Abuse is a silent epidemic affecting the entire spectrum of society at all educational and socioeconomic levels. The tools and programs offered by SCAN have proven to be valuable resources that educate parents, caregivers, and the public while helping to prevent child abuse and neglect in our community. SCAN is a best-in-class community asset that sets the standard of excellence in mission fulfillment, volunteer engagement, and financial stewardship.
SCAN is my favorite non-profit, because it so well managed, the staff and volunteers are committed to the mission and the children, and I truly belive our work leads to a better community for everyone. I am so impressed that SCAN is a leader in colloborating and partnering with other organizations sharing information to keep families and children safe.
As SCAN's volunteer webmaster since March 2004, I am regularly impressed by the dedication of staff and other volunteers. SCAN supports Northern Virginia families with high quality annual events, ongoing programs, and website content (http://twitpic.com/4olj9i). I am proud to be a volunteer for this great organization.
I became a member of the board of directors for SCAN of Northern Virginia several years ago because I was eager to find a way to help at-risk children live happier, safer and more nurtured lives. While I was successful in business, there was an emptiness in my heart because I was doing nothing to benefit the young ones who needed help most. I was introduced to SCAN and was deeply touched by the dedication of the staff and volunteers to this crucial cause and impressed by the number of children and families SCAN has been able to reach through its programs. SCAN effectively touches and improves the lives of children in so many ways - from training parents how to interact positively with their children even in stressful moments, to acting as advocates for children already in troubled situations when they desperately need someone focused solely on protecting their well-being, to educating the public about the great needs of these children and how each one of us can make a difference in our own unique and varied ways. The children and families that SCAN serves and hopes to serve in the future desperately need the organization. I can't think of a better purpose or a more deeply dedicated group to provide that guiding hand than SCAN of Northern Virginia.
I've become a board member in January of 2011 but I've been privileged to have access to SCAN's services since 2008. As a parent, struggling with the daily challenges of raising young children and juggling multicultural values and beliefs at our household, I discovered SCAN's parenting classes when I needed the most. Through the classes and parent support groups, I found help that gave me and my family hope for a better and calmer family environment. That was a priceless gift that me and family are very grateful for! Now, I just want to help other parents and families find that 'end of the tunnel's light' that illuminated my family's path.
I have had the fortunate opportunity to volunteer with CASA and SCAN for approximately four years. As a CASA in Alexandria VA, I have had the honor to support children and their families during difficult life events in an effort to advocate for the best possible outcome. As a volunteer for the ABC's of parenting classes I have been thrilled to support SCAN's efforts to build strong families in my community by providing information and education on nutrition through healthy meals and cooking lessons to participants. Working with SCAN's staff and clients is a highlight of my week. Through these experiences I have seen the true meaning of compassion, patience, dedication and know how. I am eager to continue to support SCAN in all their efforts and believe SCAN makes a significant contribution in my community.
SCAN is a top-notch provider of 3 avenues for halting child abuse and neglect: 1. the Court Appointed Special Advocate Program (CASA); 2. public education; and 3. parent education. I have been a CASA volunteer for 11 years. Initially, I was trained by SCAN staff and subject-matter experts it brought in. In one instance, this superb training enabled me to track down a CASA child as her drug-addicted mom moved her from place to place to avoid the social workers and the courts. In another instance, encouragement from my CASA supervisor gave me the determination to keep calling a pediatrician's office until--after about 15 calls-- she finally spoke with me about about a 6-year-old boy whose drug-addicted mom claimed he was too chronically ill to attend school. (The doctor said he certainly could go to school.)
As a CASA Volunteer for over ten years, I have worked closely with SCAN leadership and staff in connection with my many cases. I have come to appreciate more and more the breadth of experience, the level of skill, and the intensity of commitment to the needs of children and families that SCAN provides. I could not carry out my duties as a CASA without the encouragement and practical support that SCAN provides. For me, SCAN is an indispensable resource, a continuing source of inspiration and leadership, and an indispensable provider of information and skills. I am proud to be a CASA. I am proud too to be associated with an organization that is the gold standard of care and concern for children and families in Virginia.