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Virginia law enforcement invited to join ‘Safe Sleep VA Campaign’ to reduce child fatalities

July 10, 2017 | Virginia News

News Image The Virginia Department of Social Services' Three Branch Team would like to extend an invitation to you to join Virginia's Safe Sleep VA Campaign by becoming a Baby Box Distribution Site. This campaign could dovetail with an agency's child passenger safety program.

Virginia was selected, through a competitive application process, for the 2016-2017 Three Branch Institute sponsored by the National Governor's Association, National Conference of State Legislatures and Casey Family Programs to focus on service coordination among the three branches of government. The focus of this Institute is Improving Child Safety and Reducing Child Fatalities. There are approximately 70 members of Virginia's team including state legislators, Judges, Virginia Department of Social Services, Local Department of Social Services, Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court, Department of Medical Assistance Services, Virginia Department of Health, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and multiple community partners. Thus far, Virginia has successfully completed many of the goals of Virginia's robust work plan to improve child safety and reduce child fatalities; however, much work remains.

While significant progress has been made to ensure child safety, there remains a consistent crisis with sleep-related fatalities in Virginia. In 2016, there were 126 child fatalities reported to local departments of social services in Virginia, and 57 were associated with unsafe sleep. In April, Virginia's Three Branch Team enthusiastically voted to include a universal Safe Sleep Campaign across Virginia. The campaign, Safe Sleep VA, will include a consistent safe sleep message, marketing of the safe sleep message in multiple avenues, an interactive website sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health, as well as partnership with Baby Box Co. and Baby Box University to distribute Baby Boxes throughout the Commonwealth.

FAQs About Safe Sleep VA Baby Box Distribution Sites

If you are interested in becoming a Baby Box Distribution Site with the Safe Sleep VA Campaign, please review the attached information and contact Elizabeth Overall at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (804) 726-7684. If becoming a Distribution Site is not appropriate for your Agency at this time, but you would still like information on Safe Sleep VA please contact Elizabeth as well.

In order to become a Baby Box Distribution Site, you must have physical space to store the boxes and agree to provide a Baby Box to every family who provides a Baby Box University certificate of completion.

Thank you for your diligent efforts and commitment to ensuring the safety of Virginia's most vulnerable children.

Sincerely,

Carl E. Ayers
Director, Division of Family Services