By Sarah Shamlal / Social4Good

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and Social4Good (S4G) partnered with Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia for our monthly charity support. Child abuse cuts across all boundaries of race, education levels, and income brackets. In 2021 there were more than 37,000 reports of child abuse in Northern Virginia. There are 3.5 million reports annually in the United States. Child abuse is any mistreatment of a minor that results in harm or injury. Four types of abuse:
NEGLECT: Failure to provide for a child’s basic needs (physical, educational, and/or emotional).
PHYSICAL ABUSE: Injury as a result of hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or otherwise harming a child, including with unnecessary medical procedures (medical abuse).
ABUSE: Indecent exposure, fondling, or exploitation through trafficking or the production or viewing of indecent images. This includes both contact and non-contact offenses.
EMOTIONAL ABUSE: Any pattern of behavior that impairs a child’s emotional development or sense of self-worth, including constant criticism, threats, and rejection or isolation. Frequently part of other forms of abuse.
Over 90% of abuse is by someone known to the child.
Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia (SCAN, is the only region-wide organization focused solely on preventing child abuse and neglect across Northern Virginia.
SCAN provides:

  • A voice for children in the court system.
  • Support when parents need it most.
  • Building institutions that protect children.
  • Making child abuse prevention a community priority.

In April 2023, S4G members and guests generously supported S4G’s Encouragement Fund with donations totaling $5,000! The Encouragement Fund was created to provide SCAN Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers with funds they could use to support children in foster care when and where they need it. Our project goal was to replenish this account so that foster children could celebrate birthdays, purchase basic hygiene necessities, participate in activities, and feel remembered and visible.
At the April 24th Social, members and guests had the
opportunity to learn more about SCAN and the important role CASA volunteers play in supporting children in foster care. “Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers are often the only stable presence in our children’s lives as they navigate the foster care system. Our system of care provides
basic therapeutic services to help children process their abuse, but that takes a lot of time and work. In the meantime, how can we help the children in our communities reclaim their youth and offer them normalcy, even just for a day. By letting them know they are special, that there are people who believe in their abilities enough to invest in them. Social4Good’s
Encouragement Fund will tell our children that they are not throwaways, that they are not different or less than because of what happened to them, through no fault of their own.
Social4Good’s generosity will demonstrate that there is a caring community who wants them to thrive and offer them the opportunity to do what they do best—just be a child.” Amy Wilker, Director, CASA Program, CASA of Alexandria/Arlington | SCAN of Northern Virginia S4G is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that brings together engaged women who want to meet new people and support the organizations that make our community strong.
Each month, this column will highlight S4G’s monthly project to raise awareness on critical needs in our community and local nonprofits making a difference.

To learn more about S4G or to support local nonprofits, visit

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