It is often said that it takes a village to raise a child, but for Attorney Claudia Remington, in order
to raise a healthy child, you might just need the whole state.
Claudia is the Executive Director of Maryland’s State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect
(SCCAN), and splits her time between Baltimore City, where her office is located, and the
Annapolis area, where she lives and support legislators.
SCCAN is one of three citizen review panels that advise government councils with proposed
policies, and for Claudia, no issue is untouched by child sexual abuse. “People ask why we look at domestic violence or parental incarceration,” she says, “and for a child, it doesn’t matter where their adversity comes from. Their bodies react in similar fashions.”
Before partnering with No More Stolen Childhoods, SCCAN had already established a deeply rooted network of organizations championing the same cause. Among their existing partners are
The Family Tree, Maryland Essentials for Childhood and multiple child advocacy centers (CACs) across the state. Together, they have trained dozens of professionals within various sectors on from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) prevention to litigation. Claudia emphasizes that it is crucial for
government officials and police officers alike to understand the neuroscientific epigenetics of
childhood adversity because it makes for the strongest arguments.
It was this strong network that helped SCCAN band together with NMSC. The Family Tree’s executive director, Patricia Cronin, introduced Claudia to NMSC’s executive director, Vanessa,
last year, and it has been a wonderful partnership ever since.
Claudia is overwhelmed by and extremely appreciative of the dedication that NMSC board members have put into the mission of child sexual abuse prevention, with some even volunteering to testify during hearings down in Annapolis.
“It’s up to us as adults and professionals to look at adversities across systems and work together,” she said. “After all, what happens at childhood can impact a lifetime.”
A crucial component of SCCAN’s mission is to shift the framework around child abuse from asking, “what’s wrong with you?” to investigating, “what happened to you?”
“It’s about not blaming people and [instead] understanding where they came from” Claudia
Through this more holistic and empathetic understanding, Claudia is confident that we can not only raise healthy children, but ultimately, healthy communities, too.