To the Editor:
As we read recent news stories on children suffering through neglect, a local coach charged with sexual abuse, and families struggling to find services and shelter, we couldn’t help but wonder--was there someone in each child’s life who could have been a positive connection and made a difference?
The truth of what we work for and promote at SCAN is that the simple, everyday interactions with kids do make a difference in their health, safety and happiness. That’s why we launched our new community education campaign, Kids Need Connections, during National Child Abuse Awareness Month in April.
As teen advocate Josh Shipp says, "Every kid is one caring adult away from becoming a success story." We couldn't agree more. We know positive adult-child connections are critical to keep children safe. We know that when a child feels loved and supported by multiple adults, they learn to value themselves and feel empowered to succeed.
So as the buzz dies down from April, we're challenging community members: How will you be a connection for a child?
We encourage you to take on this responsibility. That is how prevention works and families thrive. Here’s what you can do:
Schedule special time to catch up with your own child or a child in your community. Take a walk, toss a ball or eat a meal together.
Take notice when a child or family is struggling. Smile and praise the child or parent— acknowledge that parenting is a tough but rewarding job.
Create opportunities in your community for families to build new connections in safe, supportive environments.
Connect with kids by volunteering.
We have additional ideas on our website. Visit www.scanva.org/kidsneedconnections to learn more, or consider joining us for SCAN's upcoming Volunteer Orientation on May 22.
Thanks to every community member who made April such a success. Now the real work begins.
SCAN of Northern Virginia