A group of social work students at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph have chosen Safe Haven for Newborns as their senior class project. They organized a press conference that was held the morning of Tuesday, November 17 at the St. Joseph Fire Department, where they presented Fire Chief Mike Dalsing with Safe Haven signs for the nine fire stations in St. Joseph that are staffed 24 hours a day. To relinquish a child under the Safe Haven law, the infant must be under 45 days old, unharmed, and must be handed to someone on duty at a Safe Haven. In Missouri, Safe Havens include hospitals, fire and police stations, pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes. In Kansas, Safe Havens include hospitals, fire and police stations, and city and county health departments.
Chief Dalsing and Jenny Scudder, one of the students, spoke to reporters from local TV station, KQ2 and the St. Joseph newspaper, the media covering the event. Anne Biswell, Mother & Child Health Coalition communications coordinator, representing the Safe Haven for Newborns Coalition, brought the signs and other materials for the Fire Chief to share with the other stations. All five students plan to attend the Safe Haven for Newborns Coalition meeting at North KC Fire Department on Thursday, as a part of their class project.
These young women are an inspiration to us all. They hope to pass on the baton of their new passion for the issue, especially to the future students in the social work program, and will be suggesting that the next class carry on the work of educating the public about this important, life-saving law.
For a link to the report on KQ1, click here.
To learn more about Safe Haven for Newborns, click here.
For help in finding the nearest Safe Haven location, call the United Way 2-1-1 Help Line.
Pictured above L-R: Missouri Western University social work students Sandra Fairbanks. Catherine Boose, Michelle Blakley, Danielle Gunn, Jenny Scudder.
Above: Anne Biswell, MCHC, and Fire Chief Mike Dalsing of the St. Joseph MO Fire Department.