DEANNE AND SARAH
Deanne has a baby daughter named Sarah. She wants to be the best parent she can be and is attending the parenting classes that are available through her health care provider. The provider encourages the new parents to bring their children to the classes so that they can help them develop skills that fit real life situations, but Deanne has not been bringing Sarah.
When the teacher approached Deanne about the importance of bringing Sarah to the class, Deanne tearfully explained that she did not have access to a child safety seat and couldn’t risk Sarah getting hurt if she had an accident. Deanne is struggling to make ends meet and can’t afford the $125 cost of an infant car seat.
Fortunately, the health care provider is one of KidSafe’s collaborating partners. KidSafe was able to provide a child safety seat that adapts to meet a child’s needs as they grow. Now Deanne is able to safely take Sarah to the parent/child education that will make them a healthy family and Sarah rides safely wherever she goes.
In early 2017, several child and family centered agencies approached LSSNF to develop an affordable child safety seat program because they noticed that many families were not using child safety restraints because the cost was prohibitive. These agencies cited numerous requests they had received by families in need of child safety seats and expressed a strong interest in making sure that this vital family/community need was met. The KidSafe program was Lutheran Social Services of North Florida’s response to this request.
KidSafe SAVES LIVES
Nationally, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death to children age 3-14. In 2018, 636 children under 12 died as occupants in automobile crashes. At least 33% were not wearing a child safety restraint. Almost half of Black and Hispanic children who died in these crashes were not buckled up. All the experts agree that the proper use of child safety restraints could reduce these fatalities by at least 50%. By making adaptable safety seats available to families with low incomes, KidSafe plays an important role in helping to reduce child injuries and death in the local communities of the Big Bend area of North Florida.
KidSafe DEVELOPS PARTNERSHIPS
The KidSafe program, works collaboratively with partner agencies, distributing new high quality child safety seats to families being served by the agency. The partner agency verifies the financial need of the family and requests a safety seat. The family pays a program fee of $15. This nominal fee demonstrates that the family has taken some personal responsibility for the safety of their child.
The current KidSafe collaborating partners are: The Pregnancy Help and Information Center, Brehon Family Services, Capital Area Healthy Start Coalition, Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region, The Kearney Center, Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend, the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, ECHO, and the FSU Young Parent Program.
KidSafe SUPPORTERS MAKE IT ALL POSSIBLE
Grant funding from Tallahassee/Leon County Human Service Partnership has been a stable source of basic funding. However, additional funds are needed to purchase child safety seats for distribution. Each seat costs @$125. Donations from several local churches and individual donations are critical to the continuation and expansion of this program. Your donation may save a child’s life.