Introduction: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over-represented in road related deaths and serious injury. Buckle-Up Safely was developed to work in partnership with twelve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in New South Wales to promote correct use of appropriate car seats.
Method: Buckle-Up Safely is a multi-faceted program guided by each community and coordinated by locally employed community workers. It includes the community worker’s unique engagement in each location to ensure the program is tailored and adapted specifically for services that suit the community, while maintaining the core messages of the Buckle-Up Safely program.
Avenues of access to education and resources are reflective of a coordination of current Government funded and non-government services and include: parent and carer information sessions; childcare-based professional development workshops for teachers to build safe travel into their education program for the children; and access to free restraint checks/fittings. In addition, Buckle-Up Safely offers access to low cost, affordable, good quality child restraints.
Governance and Sustainability: Buckle-Up Safely is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations and key government and non-government organisations, providing an opportunity to develop ongoing relationships between those responsible for service delivery at the local level and policymakers and statewide service providers. Importantly, Buckle-Up Safely brings together existing services and resources, paving the way for key program elements to extend beyond the project’s funded life.
Conclusions: Buckle-Up Safely develops local capacity to enable delivery of a program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in communities throughout NSW. The program gains its strength and sustainability from the participation and input of local individuals within each of the sites. Buckle-Up Safely will be fully evaluated by December 2016.
Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the work of the local Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations involved in this project and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have worked as Research Assistants and Community Workers. Funding is from NSW Health Aboriginal Injury Prevention Demonstration Grants Scheme and Transport for NSW. Dr Hunter has been supported by a Post-doctoral Research Fellowship with The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.