Stop Child Abuse & Neglect – SCAN supports healthy futures for families

SCAN, Inc. was founded in 1974 by a group of community volunteers dedicated to stopping child abuse and neglect. More than 200 employees work to achieve that mission by valuing families and offering programming rooted in the beliefs that: all children deserve to be safe, loved, and nurtured; parenting is life’s most challenging job; children should be in their family’s home whenever possible; and safe children and strong families create a better community. The St. Joseph Community Health Foundation has supported SCAN for more than 20 years with over $250,000 in funding.

“A favorite quote of mine is ‘real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time,’” says Sydney Wilkins, SCAN therapist. “Just as our Fort Wayne community is ever-growing physically and emotionally, so are the children and families that reside within our city. The clinical services that SCAN offers support children and families in taking singular steps towards personal healing and creating a healthier future. SCAN offers services that not only promote real change but equip our families with tools to endure through future hardships.” That type of support impacts the lives of real people in meaningful ways.

For example, a SCAN clinician provided services to a mom who was struggling with her mental health. She had undergone a tremendous amount of trauma in her life and had a hard time processing it and her mental health diagnoses. This resulted in a struggle to parent independently.

Over several months, she worked with her SCAN clinician to address her trauma and mental health diagnoses as well as focus on discovering herself, increasing self-esteem, and building confidence. They also worked on parenting skills, safety education, understanding child development, and creating a healthy bond.

When the services came to a close, this mom knew how to take care of her mental health needs, felt an increase in hope and self-worth, and enjoyed healthy relationships with her children. She was able to revisit her custody arrangement to have both of her children with her more often and more independently. She also communicated effectively with her significant other to create a supportive relationship. The therapist stated, “We are so proud of her progress.”

“Sometimes the smallest steps in the right direction end up being the biggest steps our families may ever take—that may be a step into the clinical services at SCAN,” adds Wilkins. “We are honored to have the privilege of walking alongside children and families on their unique journeys towards a healthier future!”