Mission & History
Founded in 1977, SCAN is a non-profit youth and family service organization that provides a variety of integrated supports to the highest risk children and families of Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Our mission is to provide the highest risk families and children living in Harlem, East Harlem, and the South Bronx with integrated family-focused programming that uses a positive approach, harnesses individual strengths and fosters responsibility, self-esteem, initiative and the development of life skills.
SCAN has been led by its Executive Director, Lewis Zuchman, an original 1961 Freedom Rider, since 1987.
The agency currently has over 100 full-time and 300 part-time employees with an annual budget of approximately $15 million.
Serving over 7,000 children and teens and 1,000 adults and families each year at 23 program sites, SCAN is the largest youth service provider in Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Traditional youth and family service providers typically target their client’s problems and then terminate program delivery at the resolution of the presenting problem. SCAN considers the traditional “service termination” as a “beginning”!
With programs as diverse as early childhood education, substance abuse treatment, violence prevention, literacy programs, LGBTQ support, afterschool activities and events, employment skills training, and youth leadership, SCAN’s positive approach builds on individual, family, and group strengths.
We employ an empowerment-focused service approach, inspiring our children and their families to achieve positive goals.
An essential illustration of this methodology may be seen in SCAN’s relationship with its employees: over 50% of SCAN’s employees are community residents who have been recipients of service, or are parents of children who are currently receiving services. By employing SCAN participants, the agency concretely demonstrates our faith and confidence in the inherent capacities of the community members we serve.