SCAN executive director reflects on 31 years at organization

Rachel Tobin-Smith

FORT WAYNE, Ind (WANE) – Rachel Tobin-Smith said she’s ready to step down and take on different ventures. The organization is only getting busier, but she knows her staff is prepared for what’s to come.

After 31 years, Tobin-Smith is stepping down as leader of SCAN or Stop Child Abuse and Neglect. Her resignation comes at a time when child abuse cases are up in the area. Tobin-Smith has seen different social issues take a toll on children. Right now is no different.

“The opiod addiction and usage have created a very volatile world for children,” Tobin-Smith said.

However, it’s these social changes that Tobin-Smith has prepared her staff for.

“You get these dips and these ebs and flows and you’ll get a new social issue such as gang violence or such as different drugs that come in,” Tobin-Smith said. “Then they really, really affect families.”

As she prepares to step down, Tobin-Smith is reflecting on her greatest accomplishments with SCAN. Of course she’s proud of all the work her staff has put in to getting kids out of abuse situation, but she’s also proud of the work done re-parenting the parents.

“We may see the parent as an awful person, but knowing that adult the adult in [the child’s] life, that gave birth to them, wants them, loves them and is willing to try is so vital to their self esteem,” she said.

In fact, it’s when she became a young mother that she felt he calling to work with and help children and parents.

“I had a supportive father for my children, I had a supportive home environment, but parenting was the hardest job I ever did,” Tobin-Smith said. “If it was like that for me how difficult was it for others who didn’t have the advantages?”

SCAN is currently looking for Tobin-Smith’s replacement.

SCAN released the following statistics to NewsChannel 15. In Adams, Allen, Dekalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wells and Whitley counties in 2014 there were 2,222 cases of abuse cases. Most of those cases were neglect cases. In Allen County in 2014, there were 217 sexual abuse cases, 113 physical abuse and 698 neglect cases. In those nine counties in 2015 there were 2,418 abuse cases. In Allen County that year there were 182 sexual abuse cases, 126 physical abuse cases, and 708 neglect cases.

Other notable statistics include the cases of sexual abuse in Wells County. In 2014 there were nine cases and a year later there were 27.

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