Today we welcome Hon. Tim Lovain as a guest blogger to share his experience working on an initiative to be intentional as a community when it comes to planning for and supporting the children of Alexandria, where he is a Councilman.
In June, the Alexandria City Council and the Alexandria School Board approved the Children and Youth Master Plan for the City of Alexandria. The Master Plan is the result of hundreds of hours of discussions within the Alexandria community over many months. It provides a blueprint for Alexandria as it seeks to improve outcomes for children, youth and families in our community. The Plan’s Vision is that “All of Alexandria’s children and youth can succeed today and tomorrow”. It sets five goals to meet that vision, multiple strategies to accomplish those goals and specific sets of action steps to support those strategies.
This Master Plan also supports SCAN’s efforts.
Its very first goal is that “every child will be physically safe and healthy”. Its first strategy is to “support the related efforts of public and private entities to improve the health, wellness and safety of children, youth and families”. It prescribes an action step to “support the efforts of organizations working to decrease and mitigate the effects of child abuse and exposure to violence, and to improve the safety of environments for children”.
I was proud to be a member of the Alexandria Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission that produced the initial draft of this Master Plan, and I was pleased to help shepherd it through to approval by City Council. I believe that it will strengthen our community’s efforts to help our children and youth thrive and will increase appreciation and support for the critical work of SCAN and other organizations in that effort.
Living in a community where children are considered a priority is a gift, and also a responsibility– to do exemplary work in the prevention of child abuse, to lift up children and families in new, innovative ways, and to share our experiences and resources with others.
I’m proud to be a part of it all.
– Tim Lovain, SCAN Board Member
City Councilman, City of Alexandria