Abuse, neglect and other forms of trauma negatively affect a child’s physical and mental health, academic achievement, and more. The support of a CASA volunteer fosters resilience and helps children counter those impacts. Research shows that a stable relationship with a supportive adult can help children thrive, even when they have faced significant hardships. For many children in foster care, their CASA volunteer is the only consistent person in their life.
According to national studies, children with a CASA volunteer are:
• More likely to find a safe, permanent home
• More likely to succeed in school
• Half as likely to re-enter the foster care system
children were advocated for by Richmond CASA in fiscal year 2023.
caregivers and 88 children were served by the Family Support Program during fiscal year 2023 - all from families who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing child abuse and/or neglect.
Family Support Program
SCAN’s client-driven approach allows staff to address clients’ needs holistically, eliminate barriers to service, and ensure they have the tools to be successful parents. By intervening in the lives of caregivers who are at a high risk of committing abuse or who have already committed abuse, SCAN has the opportunity to teach parents new skills and build their support network. As a result, caregivers are more likely to develop healthier relationships with their children and are less likely to hurt them. Children who grow up in nurturing home environments will also be less likely to hurt their children when they become parents.
Child Advocacy Center
The CAC reduces trauma to children who have experienced sexual abuse and severe physical abuse (including human trafficking and witness to violence) by minimizing the number of interviews they undergo and by providing a friendly and non-threatening environment for interviews. The CAC’s multidisciplinary team approach increases communication and collaboration among the various agencies involved in these cases, and it improves investigation and prosecution. Families are able to navigate extremely difficult situations with the help of the CAC’s immediate crisis support as well as ongoing assistance and support provided by our family advocacy services. They can receive highly specialized treatment and begin the process of healing through our intensive on-site Trauma-Focused Treatment services.
children and 565 caregivers were served through child forensic interviews, family advocacy services, and Trauma-Focused Treatment outpatient therapy services by CAC in fiscal year 2023.
children and 26 caregivers were served by The Circle Preschool Program in fiscal year 2023.
Circle Preschool Program
The Circle Preschool reaches children as early as possible so that we can reduce the likelihood they will face the long-term impacts of trauma. Trauma changes a child’s biological stress systems, which can hinder healthy brain development and inhibit a child’s ability to function in school and society. Research has shown that children who have emotional difficulties early in life are more likely to have difficulty forming relationships throughout life and are more susceptible to dropout/suspension, arrest and substance abuse problems. With the help of CPP, children are able to heal from their trauma and return to preschool or enter kindergarten better able to adjust, learn and grow. Further, this early intervention helps ensure the long-term success of these children.
SCAN’s Community Programs empower organizations, systems and communities to shift perspective to a more trauma-informed lens that changes the question from, “What’s wrong with you?” to, “What happened to you?” This approach allows us to identify signs of trauma, more appropriately respond, reduce and/or prevent incidents of re-traumatization, and incorporate strategies to build resilience. These are cost-effective strategies that build upon and enhance the existing capacity of caregivers and professionals within organizations, systems and the community. SCAN’s role as convener of the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network (TICN) and statewide network of TICNs has helped advance the trauma-informed movement on a large scale throughout our community and state, impacting countless individuals, organizations and systems.