Families Affected by Shaken Baby Syndrome Collaborate to Produce Quilt

Thank you very much to State Representative Brownsberger for allowing us to post this to his website.  It is very much appreciated.

Families affected by Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma are collaborating with Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MCC) to produce by this fall a Massachusetts-specific SBS Commemorative Quilt to honor the children in our state who have died or been injured due to shaking. We are working with Dianne Judd and her volunteers at The Quilted Shamrock who are assisting families in designing a square to honor their child. They will be the team that does the final assembly of the squares into the Quilt. There will be no cost to families as supplies are being donated.  With the goal of building pubic awareness about SBS and its prevention, we expect this “traveling Quilt” to be displayed continuously in hospitals, schools, libraries, malls, city halls, and other public places across the state.

When Department of Children and Families’ caseworkers explored their records over a five-year period to develop data for a DCF survey a few years ago, over 150 children were identified as victims. Sadly, these are enough children to make several quilts. We are preparing to start with one, which would allow 20 children to be honored. The quilters are committed to making more than one quilt if the response warrants.

We have reached out to the families with whom we already have relationships and their response has been very positive. Now our challenge is to reach out to other families affected by SBS and inform them of this important public awareness initiative aimed at preventing future cases. We are reaching out to state and private organizations that routinely have contact with SBS cases in the hopes they might serve as a resource to connect us to these families.  We have access to names of SBS victims when cases were made public but some of these children may no longer be legally with their families, so we are looking to connect with their foster or adoptive parents. If your organization is aware of families affected by SBS, we would very much appreciate your passing on this information to them directly, or contacting us so that we might reach out to them. Contact to these families is being made sensitively by members of our SBS Quilt Committee, all of whose children have also experienced this tragedy.

Thank you so much for passing this information along and for your part in helping us continue educating parents and caregivers everywhere about Shaken Baby Syndrome, a devastating yet preventable form of child abuse.

For more information, contact:

Bob Logan, Chair, SBS Quilt Committee                                                                                                                                                                    logans_27@yahoo.com

Jetta Bernier, Executive Director                                                                                                                                                                                    Massachusetts Citizens for Children                                                                                                                                                                                617-742-8555 Ext. 2