Services for children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect have resumed on Vancouver Island with an interdisciplinary team now based in a Nanaimo clinic.
The Vancouver Island Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (VI SCAN) program operates out of a renovated facility at #39 -1925 Bowen Road.
Pediatrician Dr. Wilma Arruda leads the team which includes a Registered Nurse, Social Worker and Administrative Assistant.
“This service provides vital support to children and youth and its mid-Island location in Nanaimo improves access for those who live in communities across Vancouver Island,” said Stephanie Cadieux, Minister for Children and Family Development. “Dr. Arruda’s compassion, expertise and experience will make an enormous contribution to the lives of young people.”
Dr. Arruda earned her MD at UBC in 1993 and completed her pediatric residency at UBC/Children’s Hospital in June 1997. She has taught in the medical program, has extensive clinical experience and is well known on Vancouver Island and beyond for her professionalism and high standards in the field of child health.
“Our interdisciplinary team is able to provide non-urgent health evaluation and assessment for children or youth who may have been maltreated,” said Dr. Arruda. “We also consult with physicians, child protection workers, police, psychologists and other health professionals to assist in identifying child maltreatment as well as recommend treatment and offer referrals.”
VI SCAN, like other members of the provincial SCAN network, provides guidance and support in collecting and documenting forensic child maltreatment evidence for potential use in court.
“This clinic provides critical support as young people recover from significant traumas,” said Shelley McKenzie, VIHA Manager of Child Youth and Family Health Services in Nanaimo. “We’re extremely grateful to the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation for providing $210,000 to renovate the facility and another $38,000 for the team to travel throughout Vancouver Island to raise awareness about the support provided through the VI SCAN program.”
Christine McAuley, Chair of the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation said VI SCAN will make an important contribution to the well-being of children and youth who have suffered traumas through various forms of abuse and neglect.
“The Hospital Foundation is pleased that we could offer support to the VI SCAN and, in turn, help provide a safe haven for the most vulnerable members of our society,” said McAuley.
The VI SCAN program replaces the Victoria-based Health Assessment and Resources for Children (HARC) program which was suspended in June 2009.