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Families Are Magic (FAM) Prevention Program Coordinator Denise Noble began working for SCAN in 2000. She originally was a Parent Group Facilitator.
“I started working with SCAN because I believe in the mission,” Denise said. “I’ve always worked with families and children in crisis.”
Denise, who has a master’s in counselor education from State University of New York at Brockport, then became the Assistant Director of SCAN working alongside Executive Director Jeanine Harper. Denise left SCAN in 2004 to have her children. When she came back to work, the position of FAM Coordinator opened up.
“I liked prevention work because I truly believe that child abuse and neglect can be prevented,” she said.
Since becoming the FAM Coordinator, the program has grown to better serve the Richmond area. SCAN now has four Stewards of Children facilitators who can offer more child sexual abuse prevention trainings throughout the year and during the annual Prevent-A-Thon. In addition, SCAN has offered more specialized trainings on parenting and child abuse and neglect to groups such as child care centers and preschools.
“We are seen not only as treatment experts, but also as prevention experts in this area,” Denise said.
During workshops, Denise and other facilitators share information to describe exactly what child abuse and neglect is, the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, how to respond and what it means to be a mandated reporter. At public awareness events, Denise also ensures that caregivers and people who work with children are being led back to the FAMRichmond.org website, which is updated regularly with quality parenting information, resources and other information for people raising and caring for children.
Denise has also expanded the FAM Network, which is a network of professionals who provide services to children and families. There are more than 80 members in the FAM Network who represent more than 50 organizations. Through the FAM Network, SCAN not only shares information about child abuse and neglect but also encourages organizations to coordinate services in the community.
Denise supports SCAN’s work at the state level and serves on the Child Abuse Prevention Committee coordinated by the Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and The Virginia Department of Social Services as well as Smart Beginnings Greater Richmond. There are always valuable partnerships to be made to ensure children have a safer community to live in, Denise said.
“I would like FAM to be utilized more for schools who need parenting services,” Denise said.
Specifically, Denise has started a Parenting Resource Center at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School to reach parents in the East End community. In the coming years, she hopes to reach more caregivers. In addition, Denise has worked to reach out to more schools in the area through a monthly newsletter to educate them about the issue of child abuse and neglect and also share the resources on FAMRichmond.org.
“In terms of prevention I would like for Stewards to continue to grow as well as the April campaign so everyone knows what a pinwheel is, what it stands for, and what to do when they see child abuse or neglect happening,” she said.