$1 million community transport scheme supporting SIDS and Kids SA grief counsellors
SIDS and Kids SA counsellors will be able to better support grieving families following the delivery of a new car to replace the organisation's ailing vehicle.
The new car, part of a one-off $1 million community transport package, will be used by counsellors to visit South Australian families who have lost a child from conception to six years of age.
The Community Transport Vehicle Program is providing 20 community organisations across the state with new vehicles including the Whyalla Red Cross, the Hutt Street Centre, St Vincent De Paul Society SA and National Disability Services.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said SIDS and Kids SA had been struggling with a significant increase in demand and unreliable transport.
SIDS and Kids SA is the only organisation to provide free ongoing counselling to individuals and families who experience or are affected by the sudden unexpected death of a baby or child.
This includes through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal deaths, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and accidental death.
SIDS and Kids SA also provides community education programs on safe sleeping practices for infants. Their education program has reduced the incidence of SIDS by over 80% since their inception in 1977.
This year is the 30th anniversary of SIDS and Kids SA’s flagship fundraiser “Red Nose Day” and they are planning a range of fundraising activities to celebrate.
In the 2016-17 Mid-Year Budget Review, one-off funding of $1 million was provided to the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion to support a Community Transport Vehicle Program.
The program was established to address a significant need expressed by the community sector, particularly in regional areas, for funding to purchase vehicles (for example, community buses) to ensure people can access services and programs in their communities.
The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Association of South Australia, now SIDS and Kids SA, was formed by a group of parents in October 1977.
Its main aim was to raise funds for research and to educate the community about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Today, the group has a much broader charter encompassing support for families who experience the sudden and unexpected death of a child during pregnancy, infancy and childhood, up to six years of age.
Communities Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said:
The loss of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare and the South Australian Government recognises the critical role that SIDS and Kids SA’s bereavement counsellors play in supporting affected families.
This service provides crisis support, not only in the initial shock after a child’s death but in the ensuing months and even years.
When they do receive a call, at least they know they have a reliable new vehicle to get them there.
I am very pleased to be able to provide SIDS and Kids SA with the funds to purchase a car to allow them to visit these families.
Ruth Bryan, CEO, SIDS and Kids SA said:
We are immensely grateful for enabling us to purchase a new car.
We have received over 60% more referrals to our counselling service in 2016 than in 2015 (up from 59 to 95) and find our counsellors are on the road more and more often.
Knowing they are in a safe and reliable car is a great comfort.