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Margo Buchanan recently joined SCAN to become the new Families Are Magic (FAM) Program Coordinator. Margo will wear many hats as she leads the FAM program.
She will work to educate parents about how to protect their children, help people in the field understand the impacts of trauma on children, and support other agencies that serve children and families in their efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect.
“My passion lies in prevention,” Margo said.
After earning her undergraduate degree in creative writing in North Carolina, Margo had one of her first experiences working with children when she volunteered abroad at an orphanage for children infected by HIV/AIDS.
“I decided then that I wanted to work more directly with children.” Margo said. “Working with kids inspires me.”
Margo returned to the states and began teaching at a preschool outside of D.C. that served low-income families. She soon transitioned to become a part of the development team, helping to raise awareness and funds for the preschool. Margo was inspired by this work.
“Working in a preschool setting, you learn that intervening early prevents the many ripple effects that risk factors, such as abuse and neglect can cause,” Margo said.
She then decided to return to school for social work, which brought her to Richmond where she received her Master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University this May. While a student at VCU, Margo gained experience working therapeutically with families and children. Now, as she transitions to become the FAM Coordinator for SCAN, she will touch even more lives.
Margo will facilitate Stewards of Children child sexual abuse prevention trainings and work to bring the effective training to a wider audience. SCAN is the leading provider of the nationally accredited training in the region.
Margo will also present trainings to professionals about mandated reporting and trauma. She hopes to reach as many teachers as possible in the Richmond private and public school system.
“People are in direct contact with children who are experiencing the trauma of abuse and neglect and they don’t have the education or tools to know how to help,” Margo said. “I want to teach them how to help the children and understand this as a public health issue.”
“Whether or not you’re working with children, this issue will affect you,” Margo said. “I want to change the mentality that child abuse only happens to a few—unfortunately, it is more of an epidemic than we think.”