Category: Blog 

Holiday Reminders for Parents: A Helpful List

Lots of parents are especially stressed in the final weeks of December. How can we help? Sometimes a simple suggestion is all it takes to give a parent the permission to hit the reset button on the holiday season: Simplify. Reduce the number of gifts you give. Don’t worry about sending cards this year. Cut […]

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6 Things to do TODAY to Speak Up for Children: Highlights from SCAN’s 6th Annual Advocacy Training

With the 2018 General Assembly Session just a month away, it’s a critical time for advocates to start speaking up for children and families in Northern Virginia. We recently hosted our 6th Annual “Speak Up for Children” Advocacy Day to help community members prepare. With generous support from Verizon, we welcomed Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and Voices for Virginia’s […]

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Helping the Helpers

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 […]

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It’s Report Card Season! How Can We Help Parents Deal with the Drama?

Report card season can be stressful for children and parents. Kids often want to please their parents, while parents might equate academic success with future well-being and happiness. When grades differ from expectations, it can be easy to respond in anger, disappointment or frustration. But parents should work to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children–not one […]

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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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My IGNITE! Experience—On the Road with Darkness to Light

I am writing this blog post fresh from the first Darkness to Light Facilitators Conference, Ignite! I was joined by 170 others from 32 states and 4 countries (including 4 of us from Northern Virginia). The conference was a fantastic mix of dynamic and engaging keynote speakers, experts in specific content related to Stewards of […]

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

FACT: More than 3 million children in the U.S. witness domestic violence every year. Even if they are not directly abused, living in a violent home can have devastating effects on children. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an important opportunity to update your tools and resources for families experiencing violence: 1. Download these fact sheets: Relationships That Hurt […]

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Advocacy + Empathy + Connection: Serving Families with Special Needs

Since the launch of the Parenting Can Be Tough campaign, we continue to consider this theme through the eyes of different parents in our communities. The challenges of parenting can be universal—consider topics like discipline, behavior, stress management—but they can also be unique for different groups of families. This month, we invited a panel of […]

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Tools You Need Now: Trauma Resources for Children

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 […]

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Baby Boxes: Questions & Answers As We Launch a New Program

This fall, SCAN of Northern Virginia is expanding its Operation Safe Babies program to include baby boxes and education through the Baby Box Co. and Baby Box University. We’ve explored the topic of baby boxes in the past, researched safe sleep and devoted much energy to our Operation Safe Babies program. And we know you […]

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Back to School: How making friends makes a difference

As children head back to school, some of their biggest concerns often involve making friends, “fitting in” and navigating relationships. But when a child has good, healthy friendships, the benefits can include increased self-esteem and appropriate emotional growth. So how can parents better understand social development and its impact on their children? There’s a fact sheet for that! Our “Making […]

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4 Questions to Ask About Virginia’s Kids (with Answers!)

When we work directly with children and families on a daily basis, it can be helpful to take a step back and look at the “big picture” of the greater community. Voices for Virginia’s Children is an excellent source of data, trends and advocacy alerts related to child welfare in the commonwealth. Their clickable maps make it easy to look […]

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Join us! 3 Workshops for Parents & Professionals

As students prepare to head back to school, we’re excited to offer three educational opportunities for the adults working to support them. SCAN is hosting three exciting (and free!) workshops for parents and professionals and we’d love for you to join us: The Adolescent Brain: Understanding the “What” & “Why” August 17, 2017 | 2:30 – 4:30 PM […]

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Safe Sleep On the Road: Summer Tips from the Safe to Sleep® Campaign

The national Safe to Sleep® Campaign published an excellent letter this month with a special focus on summer-related tips to help parents keep their babies safe while sleeping and traveling. For more safe sleep resources we invite you to visit the “Safe Sleep for Your Baby” page on the Parent Resource Center here. Dear Safe to Sleep Community: It’s […]

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It’s Summer: What Are Your Go-To Resources for Parents?

For those of us who work with children and families, summer can bring fun — but also a lot of season-specific challenges. Families are on unusual schedules, parents are juggling the demands of new childcare arrangements and children are spending more time alone / on-screen or online / with new adults / outdoors and in pools. This week, we’ve gathered […]

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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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What We Learned at our “RESILIENCE” Film Screenings

This Spring, SCAN hosted a series of free film screenings and panel discussions about the award-winning documentary Resilience: The Biology of Stress and The Science of Hope. Held with partners in Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, we engaged  parents and professionals in discussions about what it means when a child is resilient, how trauma […]

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Tips for Parents: Talking about ’13 Reasons Why’

If you work with children and teens, you’ve probably heard about 13 Reasons Why, the Netflix Original series about a young girl who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she did it.  The show’s main characters are young people, but it addresses–sometimes in graphic detail–some very heavy topics, ranging from mental illness to cyber […]

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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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SCAN’s New Campaign: Parenting Can Be Tough

Earlier this month, we launched our new public education campaign: Parenting Can Be Tough. The campaign is based on the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study done in the 1990s by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC which involved over 17,000 adults.  ACEs are traumatic events that children experience such as abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence, […]

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30+ Ideas to TAKE ACTION this April!

Wondering what you can do this month to be a part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month? We’ve got you covered! SCAN and its Allies in Prevention Coalition are going to be busy across Northern Virginia, and we hope you will join us. Plant a Pinwheel Garden, make a donation during Spring2ACTion, and join us for one (or […]

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A Family Tech Checklist for Parents

We know parents struggle with how to monitor their children’s use of technology. Limit screen time? Require shared passwords? Make some apps and games off-limits? And it’s about so much more than rules—how parents handle technology can affect everything from family communication to personal trust to physical safety. It’s a lot to think about! We often […]

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