SCANStop: This is a Shared Commitment 

April 12, 2012

This week’s guest blogger is Allies in Prevention Coalition Member Rebecca Childress, a Prevention & Education Specialist with Quantico’s Family Advocacy Program. Rebecca and other guests at our recent awards luncheon received more than 10,000 The Little Picture campaign materials and are distributing them in communities across Northern Virginia during National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“Family” – this was an 8 year old’s response when he looked at the pull-apart magnet designed for SCAN’s new The Little Picture campaign.

Think it will only appeal to little ones?  A pre-teen checked it out, pieced some words together and said, “Our family is so fun!”

A mom commented how her 4 year old will love putting the words together on their refrigerator.

The Little Picture is about taking a closer look at the unique needs of families in our community.  So often I say “we can’t use a cookie cutter approach”.  Although our program at Quantico serves a military population – there are still diverse needs.  We serve families with transportation needs; parents who are returning warriors; single parent homes; families with language barriers; and many other unique needs.  Some of our families encounter a great deal of stress.

When we are able to put a piece of material in their hand like The Little Picture magnet, they see the words in action.  Words like “love”, “valuable”, and “family” jump out at them and touch their hearts.  Slowly but surely they start to believe their family does matter.  Their children matter.  Their success matters.   They are seen and appreciated for their unique qualities.  They are not just a number or another face.

It’s easy to say “parenting is hard”.  What takes real courage is reaching out for help and education.

One of the hardest things for many of our clients to do is make the initial call or visit to support programs.  They may worry about stigma – that they will be judged.  They may be feeling like they have failed.

When families hear and read the words “because your family matters” that first step is made a little easier, and can play a part in their journey to creating the healthy family they want and deserve!

– Rebecca Childress, Allies in Prevention Coalition Member