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Virginians Honored for Work Against Child Abuse

A local organization recognizes four local women who have devoted their lives to ending child abuse.

Four local women were honored last week for their efforts in stopping child abuse.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia held an awards ceremony at the Army-Navy Country Club to honor Debra Collins of Alexandria, Mary Craig of Arlington, Beth Pollard of Fairfax and Pam Hayba of Loudoun.

Craig is the only attorney in Arlington that prosecutes child abuse cases and she has been working for the county for 16 years. She said she was "really honored" to be attending the ceremony.

Virginia First Lady Anne Holton spoke at the event. She acknowledged the hard work that these four women have done to combat child abuse and praised SCAN for understanding this difficult and complex issue.

"It's easy to think of parents as the enemy [when you work in this field]," said Holton, a former family court judge herself. "But most children should be with their biological parents and SCAN understands this."

Holton also spoke about the problems of abused children in foster care. She said that when the children turn 18 they often don't qualify for Medicaid because their part-time jobs put them just above the legal threshold.

"Health insurance is a problem for foster children all across the state," Holton said.

She also talked about the high-profile transportation bill recently signed by Governor Timothy Kaine (D), sayingthat "I'm probably the most excited person in Virginia for a transportation deal because it means that my husband can finally stop thinking about it."