Featured Grant Story: Parenting Cottage
What is the Parenting Cottage?
The mission of the Parenting Cottage is to build a strong community by first building strong families. Since 1982, the focus and scope of programs for children and families at the Parenting Cottage has evolved to address new and continued unmet needs within the community as well as changes in societal norms and family dynamics. The agency has a primary focus on its parenting initiatives to address the preventative component of child abuse and neglect.
What is the Car Seat Safety & Assistance Program?
For over ten years the Parenting Cottage, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has provided a car safety and assistance program that provides both education and car seats to families without financial resources to access a car seat for their child.
Utilizing a car seat that meets current safety standards and is correctly installed reduces the probability of injury and/or death to an infant or child by 75%. Lack of a car seat is the leading cause of injury and death to infants and small children. The Center for Disease Control cites that over 600,000 children annually ride in vehicles without car seats, and approximately 35% of those children are also not buckled in. In 2015, almost 700 children died and over 120,000 were injured due to a lack of car seats.
Many families lack financial resources to access a car seat. The average cost of a car seat can range from $50 to $100 depending on the age of the child and the type of car seat. Those who do not have access to a new car seat often continue placing their children in used car seats as they try to make do. Some of these car seats may be damaged, or may fail to meet current safety standards.
The Parenting Cottage's Car Seat Safety & Assistance Program is the only program of its kind in the South Plains. The program currently benefits 250-350 families annually with car seats, in addition to educational events. Low income families from Crosby, Dickens, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lubbock, and Terry counties have been served in the last 12 months by the program. The Parenting Cottage believes strongly in the need for their program and the community agrees. Their classes remain full with wait lists on an ongoing basis.