Better Indy Babies (BIBs) promoting Car Seat Safety thanks to the Criminal Justice Institute


Last year, HealthNet received $21,910 from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to train eight of our Better Indy Babies’ Home Visitor/Care Coordinators to become certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians, and to purchase and distribute 100 infant car seats to high risk expecting mother’s in their third trimester.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for children ages 2 through 14, and in 36% of fatal car crashes they were not properly restrained. And, for the families we serve through our BIBs program, the risks are even higher. The majority of the families served live at or near 100% of the federal poverty level and because of their low-income, purchasing a car seat for their infant may not be possible. Many families resort to purchasing a used car seat or borrowing a seat from a friend or family member that is not functional or safe.

This grant has allowed our home visitors to become certified in teaching the young women we serve how to install a car seat properly. And, after the expecting women are educated and can demonstrate the installation, a new infant car seat is given to her during the third trimester.

Currently, we are serving 1,175 families in the Better Indy Babies program and of these, 30% are expecting mothers in their third trimester. Since we have been able to order the infant car seats in bulk, the cost is roughly half of what we estimated. Therefore, we anticipate being able to utilize the funds by purchasing more infant car seats for more women.

The funding from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute comes from collected child restraint ticket violations from across the state over the course of the year. They believe it to be important to put that funding back into the organizations to train and certify staff, as well as provide the proper car seats to those in need.