Funds will support Cribs for Kids initiative to reduce infant deaths due to unsafe sleeping practices
MELBOURNE, FL – June 5, 2014 – Brevard C.A.R.E.S. has received a grant from the Community Foundation for Brevard that will allow the organization to strengthen an initiative that has helped to reduce child deaths due to unsafe sleeping practices. The child abuse prevention and family preservation organization will use the funds to purchase Grayco Pack n‘ Plays, portable cribs for families who lack proper sleeping quarters for infants.
Brevard C.A.R.E.S. is part of the Safe Sleeping Coalition of Brevard County, a group formed in 2009 when the area experienced a dramatic increase in the number of fatalities related to infants in unsafe sleeping environments. In 2010 it became the first Cribs for Kids chapter in Brevard and since has provided 700 Pack n’ Plays to local families and reduced infant deaths by almost 30%.
The Community Foundation for Brevard is providing approximately $5,000 which will help purchase over 60 of the unique units. “We’re so grateful to the Community Foundation for finding this initiative worthy of their support,” said Brevard C.A.R.E.S. executive director, Valerie Holmes. “Cribs for Kids has proven to be very effective in reducing infant deaths. Now more children will have a safe place to sleep at night!”
Parents and caregivers of children who are Brevard residents and expecting or have a child under one year old can attend a free Safe Sleeping seminar at Brevard C.A.R.E.S. Family Resource Center in Rockledge and receive a Pack n’ Play at no charge.
Every year, over 4,500 babies die in their sleep from accidental suffocation, Sudden infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and strangulation. This is the third leading cause of all infant mortality and leading cause of death in infants after the first month of life. Studies consistently show that in 90% of these deaths the infant is found in an unsafe sleep environment.
For more information about Cribs for Kids and other family services that help prevent child abuse and neglect, contact Brevard C.A.R.E.S. at (321) 632-2737 or visit www.brevardcares.org.
About Brevard C.A.R.E.S.
The mission of Brevard C.A.R.E.S. (Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support) is to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting and strengthening families so that they can remain together in the community. Brevard C.A.R.E.S. is a family-centered, strength-based, and community-driven model for child abuse prevention and family preservation. The program’s unique “Wraparound” approach and Family Team Conferencing offers services and support to families experiencing stressors that could lead to abuse, neglect or abandonment.
The program has had a positive impact on the families and children, helping to prevent situations or events that would result in a child being removed from his or her home. Its success is due to the proactive participation of the families in need who openly engage in the process, building upon the successes and skills within their family unit that will sustain them long term.
Since inception, Brevard C.A.R.E.S. has provided support to over 13,000 children representing more than 6,000 families in Brevard County. Less than 10% of families have been referred to Brevard C.A.R.E.S. more than once.