The “Shame on U.S.” Report, and what it means for us (and children) in Northern Virginia 

February 5, 2015

Shame_on_US_CoverA recent report by The Children’s Advocacy Institute and First Star entitled “Shame on U.S.” puts the blame equally on all three branches of the U.S. government when it comes to failing to protect children from abuse and neglect:

“Each branch of our federal government plays an integral role in the child welfare system, and when even one fails to perform its role in an appropriate manner, children are put at risk of harm…all three branches must be performing optimally to ensure a well-functioning child welfare system.”

The report shares that at least 686,000 American children were the victims of abuse or neglect in 2012, and a conservative estimate notes that abuse or neglect leads to the death of at least 4–5 children every day in the U.S.

Numbers like this demand attention on the national level, and also give us here at SCAN pause to think about how we — today — can improve those numbers, both as organizations working in cooperation with one another and as individual community members connecting with the children around us. There are actions that we can take, as organizations and as individuals, to protect the children within our own communities. Here are just a few:

  • Through SCAN’s CASA program, we are able to provide children with a voice and help advocate for what is in their best interest as they and their families navigate the courts.
  • Using our Parent Resource Center allows parents to arm themselves with tips for navigating through the wonderful life experience of raising children.
  • Our Public Education campaign, Kids Need Connections, encourages all of us to take an active role in a child’s life by connecting with them on all levels.

Every Child Matters offered a straightforward, helpful commentary on the report here.

View the full report — including details from every state — here.