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Who We Are 


Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia is the only region-wide organization focused solely on preventing child abuse and neglect across Northern Virginia.

Smiling Child

To protect children from abuse in Northern Virginia through education, advocacy, and community engagement.

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A community where everyone takes responsibility for keeping children safe from abuse in all the places they live, learn, work, and play.

Our Values

As child advocates, we put children at the center of everything we do. 

We believe all children, regardless of race, faith, citizenship status, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation have the right to make decisions over their life and future. All children have fundamental human rights including the right to physical and emotional safety, to care that is not cruel or painful, to healthy relationships and development, to access to education, to freedom of safe expression, and to fair and equitable services.

We believe there are no victimless crimes. Children cannot consent to any form of abuse or exploitation, regardless of where they are, whether in person or online.

We believe survivors. Every disclosure of abuse must be heard, taken seriously, and responded to in a way that promotes healing and recovery.

Who We Are

Intentionally focusing on DEI and vulnerable groups protects ALL children.

Creating an environment of safety and belonging for our clients and staff is our top priority. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are essential components of SCAN’s work. SCAN works towards greater representation and understanding of underserved and minoritized groups in our staff, program practices, and organization partnerships. This includes but is not limited to diversity in lived experience of trauma; sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression (SOGIE); neurodiversity; disability; and race and ethnicity.

To serve NOVA’s children and families in real and meaningful ways we know every conversation and program must start with DEI.

In 2021, we formalized a DEI Committee that brings internal and external leaders together to advise the organization on the integration of DEI into all practices, policies, services, and collateral.

DEI Committee mission:

  • Promote an inclusive environment that reflects and celebrates the diversity of Northern Virginia
  • Foster a safe and affirming work environment at SCAN
  • Increase SCAN’s internal team’s competency and understanding of DEI
  • Integrate and empower lived experience into everything SCAN does
Who We Are

More than just employees or volunteers.

Child welfare can be an emotionally draining professional field. Burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary traumatic stress are rampant in child welfare professions. At SCAN, we are focused on supporting our team and their wellbeing in a major way.

In 2021, we created an internal Wellness Committee dedicated to uniting the SCAN team by creating a workplace that prioritizes health and wellbeing. The Committee brings team members across departments and divisions together to brainstorm monthly wellness challenges, activities, and opportunities.

Wellness mission:

  • Host monthly challenges that promote wellbeing
  • Foster team bonding
  • Host presentations and activities that promote wellbeing
  • Dedicate time off for mental health and employee wellbeing
Who We Are

35 years of impact

For 35 years we have been changing the lives of children and families in Northern Virginia.

35 years of impact

For 35 years, SCAN has been changing the lives of children and families in Northern Virginia. What started as a grassroots effort led by our founder, Dave Cleary, has evolved and strengthened into an innovative organization that puts children first.

We are always looking for the best, most innovative solutions to make our mission a reality. We believe every adult has the opportunity to stop child abuse, and when we all take an active role in prevention, we can protect more children and build safer communities.

Putting children first…

We’ve always put children at the center of everything we do because when we truly put the child first, pathways to care and prevention become clear.

We believe all children have the right to make decisions over their life and future.

We are their voice.

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Stronger Families, Safer Children

Children facing abuse or vulnerable to abuse feared more than a virus these last few years. At SCAN, we never stopped seeking new ways to protect and support them.

In 2021, we set new organizational records in abuse prevention and survivor care.


Hope Is Here

Abuse didn’t stop for COVID-19, and neither did we.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., heightened stress, school closures, loss of income, and social isolation put children at risk of being abused. SCAN adapted to remind the community Hope Is Here.


A Year Spent Stopping Child Abuse & Neglect

We believe every adult has the opportunity to stop child abuse, and when we all take an active role in prevention, we can protect more children and build safer communities.

In 2019, we protected thousands of children by engaging  and empowering the adults around them.


Growing Together

2018 was an important year for SCAN—spent celebrating our 30th anniversary and the people and organizations who have contributed to our incredible growth.

With our eyes on the future, we are positioned to build on this extraordinary foundation and take on new opportunities and meet new needs, creating our history for the next 30 years – and living into our values and mission so that all children have a chance at a wonderful childhood in which they can thrive.


Then & Now: Celebrating 30 years of building hope for children & families

As we approached our 30th anniversary in 2018, we reflected on how our work has evolved and expanded over the years.

While the number of children and families impacted by our work continues to grow; the diversity of services provided and geographic area we serve broadens; and technology changes, our purpose and core values—a strong belief that every child deserves to grow-up in a safe, loving and nurturing environment—have not wavered.


Energizing a Community for Change

At SCAN, we believe there is no one way to create change; there must be thousands of us working together to make it happen in Northern Virginia.

Our 2016 annual report is an open letter to our community, inviting all readers to join SCAN as we create lasting change that focuses on prevention and the ultimate protection of our children for years to come.