You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘parent resource center’ tag.

We know parents struggle with how to monitor their children’s use of technology. Limit screen time? Require shared passwords? Make some apps and games off-limits?

Cropped man and woman using electronic device free imageAnd it’s about so much more than rules—how parents handle technology can affect everything from family communication to personal trust to physical safety. It’s a lot to think about!

We often recommend parents post this Family Tech Checklist at home, and then start the discussion by asking their kids these five questions:

  1. “What technology/tools/apps do you know how to use?”
    The amount of technology—and access it provides to your kids—is astounding. And it changes every day. Do a regular check-in of your kids’ phones and gaming devices. Have them “show off ” what they can do.
  2. “Let’s check in on our security settings and passwords, okay?”
    Model safe behavior and reinforce the importance of privacy. Agree as a family to share all passwords in one place (excluding, of course, financial or other parent-only sites and tools.)
  3. “Have you seen anything online that’s made you uncomfortable or hurt your feelings?”
    This is an opportunity to listen (not to judge or yell). Cyber bullying is more common than you might think, and your kids should feel safe talking to you about it.
  4. “Can we talk? I’m uncomfortable with ______________ because _______________.”
    Rather than ban their use of Facebook, for example (which might result in secrecy or lying) explain why a certain photo or post is upsetting (use of foul language, inappropriate image, sharing of a location, etc.). Kids should know they will be held accountable for behavior online just as they are at school and home.
  5. “I need a break from my phone/web/email. Will you go___________with me?”
    Take a walk together, eat a meal, get outside and spend quality time together as a family. Model how helpful it can be to take a break from screen time.

(One app we DO recommend is our free Parent Resource Center app! You can download it on iTunes and Google Play HERE.)

There have been countless (and often conflicting) news stories in recent weeks about immigration in the United States. In our networks, the discussion–for years–has simply focused on how we can best care for and support these families. What is it like to be an immigrant and a parent? What are the unique fears, challenges, and needs faced by these families?

R0C7A5M4WB

Please consider sharing our resources with the professionals and parents in your own networks:

We also highly recommend browsing our new Parent Connection Resource Guide for parenting classes and support groups for parents facing immigration and reunification.

What resources do you depend on in your work with immigrant families?

It’s December — are parents around you looking a little more frazzled? Stress is an issue for families all year long, but during the holidays it can reach a fevered pitch. Here are some of our favorite tips and resources to share with the families in your community:

  1. Make smart decisions about what you say “yes” to as a family during this very busy time of year. If something doesn’t bring your family joy, consider saying no. Learn more about tackling Holiday Stress here.
  2. Talk about stress with your kids. Kids and adults might worry about different things, but the affects of that stress can be very similar. Parents can ask – and LISTEN to kids answer – questions about friends and family, activities and feelings. Explore some tips for understanding and addressing “Kid Stress” vs “Adult Stress” here.

    blogblock_managingstress
  3. Remember that resilient families are better able to handle stress and other challenges that come their way. Choose a couple of resilience-builders to try this month when many of us need our resilience the most! Create a “Strengths Family Tree” or spend time before bed talking about one positive thing that happened during the day. Get more Resiliency tips here.
  1. Parents, take care of yourself this season! Your kids are watching you and will follow your lead when it comes to things like sleep, healthy eating and busy schedules. Choose some Self Care steps here.
  1. Recognizing, understanding and reacting to stress is not an easy job! If parents need some help on-the-go, download SCAN’s Parent Resource Center App. They can access all of the content above no matter where they are in their holiday travels! Download the App on iTunes or GooglePlay.

 

Twenty-seven. 27 children in the U.S. have died from being left in a car this year alone. There is record heat in many parts of the country with more than one month of summer ahead of us, and the arrival of fall does not automatically mean cooler temperatures.

pexels-photoAs service providers and those who advocate for children on all levels, there is a lot that we can do. The Child Protection Partnership (CPP) of Greater Prince William County is one example: a coalition of public, private, non-profit, and government agencies from Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and the City of Manassas Park, its mission is to eliminate child abuse and neglect in the Greater Prince William area. SCAN is a proud member of this organization, whose vision is that “The Greater Prince William area will be a community where children are able to learn and grow up in a safe environment fostering wellness and positive social reinforcement.”

One of the CPP’s focuses over the last few years has been around the issue of leaving kids in cars. Most of their work has been in the area of awareness, not only for parents, but for the those in the community who may witness a parent leaving a child in a car or may walk by a car and notice a child has been left. They have pooled their resources to create large, vinyl window decals that read “Attention, NEVER leave children alone in cars. You see it, call 911.” These decals have been placed in child care centers, schools, government offices and local businesses. Another awareness tool they have is three traveling displays that can be used at resource fairs and other on-site locations (for example, one has been rotating at all Prince William Parks and Rec locations throughout the area.) A key aspect of the display is a thermometer which tells you what the outside temperature is and what the temperature is inside of a vehicle (a receiver is placed in a vehicle close by.)

While representing the CPP at various events with this display (National Night Out, Potomac Nationals games, Prince William Kids Expo), I have repeatedly heard “How can any parent do this?” This recent Washington Post article will tell you how. It can happen to anyone, from any background, anywhere.

What we all need to do is provide parents with ideas and tips on how to prevent leaving a child in a car (read SCAN’s tip sheet here) and we need to educate the community that if they see it they should call 911. Currently only 19 states in the US have laws that specifically make it illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle. And ten states have Good Samaritan laws that are specifically related to rescuing children in cars; Virginia is one of them. (Read the legislation here.)

Prevention is key. As service providers and child advocates we must educate the families we work with about this issue so they never have to face the tragedy of a child dying in a hot car, nor the trauma that will affect them every day after.

– Tracy Leonard, Public Education Manager
tleonard@scanva.org

ParentConnection_SummerFall2016Twice a year, SCAN publishes the Parent Connection Resource Guide (PCRG), a catalog of parenting resources available in the Northern Virginia area. SCAN has just published its newest guide covering August through December of 2016.

Our goal in preparing and distributing the PCRG to child welfare professionals is to spread the word about the plethora of excellent programs and events offered in our community so that we can get parents—especially those most at-risk—connected with the resources they need and deserve. Our hope is that you will refer to this guide when you come across a parent or family who would benefit from some type of parenting help—whether it be a class, support group, or one-time seminar.

We organize the PCRG by type of resource: parenting class, parenting support group, playgroups, and other parenting resources; and then each section is further organized by jurisdiction: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William.

The PCRG can be accessed online here, or, for the first time, on SCAN’s FREE Parent Resource Center app via your mobile device! (You can download the app here.)

Included in the guide are a couple of SCAN entries we are especially excited to offer this fall:

The ABCs of Parenting
The program covers topics such as child development, praise and empathy, building your child’s self-esteem, family rules, age-appropriate discipline, alternatives to spanking, and family stress management. No eligibility requirements. Registration is required. Class includes a family meal, childcare for children ages 0 to 4, a children’s program with yoga component for children ages 5 and older, weekly raffles and educational materials.

No. of weeks: 8 weeks
Date: Thursdays, October 11 – December 8
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: First Assembly of God Church, 700 W. Braddock Rd, Alexandria, VA 22302
Cost: Free
Contact: Alice Clark at 703-820-9001
E-mail: aclark@scanva.org
Website: http://www.scanva.org
Language(s): ENGLISH

Strengthening Families Program (ages 10-14)
SCAN of Northern Virginia partners with ACPS’ Family And Community Engagement (FACE) Office and the Alexandria Department of Community & Human Services, Center for Children and Families to offer a facilitator-led parent education class for parents with children in middle school (ages 10 – 14).

No. of weeks: 7 weeks
Cost: Free
Contact: Alice Clark at 703-820-9001
E-mail: aclark@scanva.org
Website: http://www.scanva.org

Cora Kelly Elementary School (with Casa Chirilagua)
Date: Thursdays, September 22 – November 3
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: 3600 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
Language(s): SPANISH

FC Hammond Middle School
Date: Tuesdays, October 11 – December 13
Time: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: 4646 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22304
Language(s): ENGLISH & SPANISH

You can learn more about SCAN’s Parent Education Program on our website here.

We hope you’ll share the PCRG in your community this fall! Know of programs that we should include in the next issue? Please let me know!

– Alice Clark, Public Education Coordinator
aclark@scanva.org
 

 

 

We talk a lot about families and technology – how to deal with things like sexting, creating family tech rules and unplugging together to make time to connect with each other. But the reality today is that the average person spends about 8-10 hours a day consuming digital media and between 4-5 hours a day using their smartphone. Our goal is to meet parents where they are – and we KNOW they are on their phones!

Thanks to support from AT&T, SCAN recently launched its new Parent Resource Center App. The FREE app gives full access to the information, fact sheets and audio files from our online Parent Resource Center, with more than 75 parenting topics available for browsing.

Have you downloaded SCAN’s new app yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

SCANapp_emailad

 

no-description-1577998It’s a topic that has come up often in our Allies in Prevention Coalition
Meetings: How do parenting topics and resources apply to those raising children with
special needs?
In many cases, families are all facing the same struggles —
how to discipline, deal with sibling rivalry, find childcare — but at the same
time there are unique challenges that deserve special attention and support.

This fall, SCAN worked with community partners to develop four new fact
sheets focused on parents raising children with special needs:

We hope to continue to develop materials for this parenting community (including translating these first four fact sheets into Spanish this spring), and we encourage parents to reach out for support from organizations such as:

For school support, also reference:

  • Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities (VAISEF) – www.vaisef.org
  • Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF) – www.mansef.org
  • DC Association for Special Education (DCASE) – www.dcase.org
  • National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC) – www.napsec.org
  • Definitely Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) – www.peatc.org

What other resources can we share to support this special groups of parents? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

adorable-22040_1280“I cannot get my baby to stop crying.”

“My baby gets cold at night, so I have to leave a blanket in her crib.”

“Why can’t I figure out what he needs? I feel so frustrated!”

Service providers working with parents hear these kinds of comments and questions all the time. It’s normal for new parents to feel unprepared for parenting, and many need to be educated in the best practices for getting their child to stop crying or keeping them safe while sleeping.

SCAN was privileged to have Megan Sharma, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as an intern this Summer.  While working with us, she researched best practices for both Safe Sleeping and Shaken Baby Syndrome, as well as what is being done about both issues in Northern Virginia.

As a result of her research, SCAN began to launch Operation Safe Babies, a program focused on the wellbeing of children from birth to the age of three.  It began with a presentation for professionals at Inova Fairfax Hospital, and our goal now is to educate parents, caregivers and families with useful messages and resources to reduce the numbers of babies who die as a result of Shaken Baby Syndrome or unsafe sleeping environments.

With Megan’s help, SCAN created two new parenting fact sheets: How to Soothe a Baby…and Calm Yourself (which includes a “My Baby’s Crying Plan” worksheet) and “Safe Sleep for your Baby” (in English and Spanish) as an initial set of tools to help parents better understand how to keep their babies safe.

Stay tuned to SCAN’s website and blog for future information regarding this important initiative as we develop more resources.

Are you a parent with a smartphone? This post is for you! Over the summer, one of our interns compiled some of the top-ranked parenting apps available on iTunes. We thought we’d share them here on the blog, and also invite you to browse our online Parent Resource Center whenever you’re searching for tips on how to handle specific parenting challenges.

It can be good to have information available at your fingertips, but we also have to put in a plug for good, old-fashioned human interaction. Every parent should have a real, live network of support: other parents, neighbors, mentors and others who can help you whether you’re struggling or celebrating as a parent.

appsSo have fun checking out the apps, but also consider learning more about our educational parent support groups here. Both could be great sources of information and support on your parenting journey!

Total Baby is touted as the most comprehensive baby logging and tracking application available, and was cited by many of the surveyed parents as a must-have. The app tracks feedings, immunizations, nap length, time nursing (and on what side), growth, allergies and milestones.

Cry Translator claims to be able to identify the reason for a child’s cry with 96 percent accuracy and within 10 seconds. Whether it’s boredom, hunger, stress or downright exhaustion, the app also provides tips on handling the child’s needs.

WebMD is free, and provides a wide variety of physical and mental health information. The app also includes a symptom checker and a drug & treatments guide.

iHomeopathy is an “at your fingertips” guide to treating first-aid emergencies, childhood ailments and common illnesses.

Easy Parenting is an app that covers many of the challenges of parenting today, including those “from pregnancy to teenage years to leaving the nest for university or work” with tips for meeting challenges along the way.

The Family Matters app is designed to help engage family members in virtual discussion. Some of the questions and activities are simple, while others go a bit deeper. You can choose from hundreds of location-driven activities as well, which makes it ideal for family vacations and travel.

Surf Balance Safe Browser combines a fun, full-screen mobile browser with unique parental control features that go beyond simple website filtering. You can guide, limit and verify your child’s web usage from your mobile device.

Do you use other apps as a parent? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

At this time of year, we get a lot of questions about Supervision Guidelines and when it’s “okay” to leave children at home alone. As much as we’d love to give parents a simple answer, it’s not a one-size-fits-all question. The fact is, every child—and family—is different. Instead of an “answer,” we like to provide guidelines, questions and tips for parents as they make this important decision for their families:

blogblock_supervisionFirst, we encourage parents to ask these questions:

  • Can my child solve basic problems? Discuss “What if?” questions to see how your child would handle different situations (a knock at the door, broken glass, etc.)
  • Does my child follow directions and remember instructions?
  • Can my child say “no” to friends who might encourage him/her to break rules?
  • Does my child have trouble getting to or from school on time?
  • Can my child be away from adults without feeling lonely or afraid?
  • Does my child read and write well enough to take telephone messages?
  • Can my child ask for help from friends and neighbors?
  • Does my child understand the role of police officers, firefighters and rescue squads?

Second, are YOU ready for the responsibility of leaving your child home alone?

  • Can you stay in touch and supervise your child even if you’re not at home?
  • If not, will a trusted nearby friend or relative be accessible by phone and able to help in case of an emergency?
  • Have you discussed and posted rules? Have you prepared your home so that it is safe?

And finally, how does your CHILD feel about being home alone?
It’s important to consider their fears, anxiety and/or other reactions to the idea so you can make a decision that is best for their wellbeing and safety.

Each jurisdiction in Northern Virginia provides different age guidelines.  (Remember, these are ONLY guidelines!) In our area, most require that a child be between 8 and 10 years old before a parent even consider leaving them alone. Find your city or county below for specific age suggestions and additional resources:

Alexandria: Call 703-838-0800 or read Leaving my child alone at home (in English) Leaving my child alone at home (in Spanish)

Arlington: Call  703-228-1500 or read Arlington’s Guidelines here

Fairfax: Call 703-324-7400 or read Fairfax’s Guidelines here

Loudoun: Call 703-771-5437 or read Loudoun’s Guidelines here and here

Prince William: Call 703-792-7500 or read Prince William’s Guidelines here under “Child Supervision Guidelines”

Join 1,087 other followers

welcome!

SCAN works to build hope for children and families in Northern Virginia. This blog brings child welfare professionals the current trends and valuable resources that will support their work to prevent child abuse and strengthen families in Northern Virginia and beyond.

Categories

Archives

recent tweets…