SCAN receives grant to help local children to prevent neglect, abuse

LAREDO, TEXAS (KGNS) -- A local organization that helps families develop healthy bonds has just received a sizable grant in the amount of over $750,000.

S.C.A.N. has just received $754,000 grant from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. That money is to be used for a three-year long outreach program to begin for the first time ever in South Texas.

Project HOPES is created with the hope of reaching out to families at risk of entering the CPS system. Facilitators will pay home visits to families selected. Dr. Susana Rivera tells us they will be there for the hard times. "We will be there to assist them at critical times in their daily routines: nap time, bathing time, feeding time. We will help them keep a healthy and safe home environment. And, really promote the attachment and the bonding between parent and young child."

It's a bilingual program that will educate parents of children between the ages of zero to five years old. Dr. Rivera adds, "We will teach them about positive interactions with their children. We will teach them about healthy decision making when it comes to parenting skills."

Although the family must volunteer to be part of the program, Dr. Rivera explains how you can keep an eye out to bring down the number of abuse cases in our community. "We look for changes in the child's behavior, changes in the child's mood; a child that may be afraid of going home at the end of the school day; a child not wanting to go with a particular adult."

If you do suspect abuse, you are urged not to wait and call the authorities. For now, S.C.A.N. is making all the necessary preparations to train and begin the program come October. They anticipate to help about 140 families during the first year.

S.C.A.N.will be working with their community partners to select families at risk. However, if you would like more information about the program or to see if your family is eligible for the free assistance, you can call their offices at 724-3977.

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