Wisconsin UCEDD SaferKids Program

January 12, 2022

Benji is a bright-eyed and energetic six-year-old. He and his two brothers keep their mom, constantly on her toes. But Benji, who was recently diagnosed with autism, was exhibiting some behaviors that were leaving his mother fearful for his safety. 

While at the Waisman Center Benji’s mother mentioned her concerns to one of the clinic’s family navigators. That’s when she was told about the Waisman Center’s SafterKids program. The family navigator explained that the program could help provide her with some equipment and resources to make it easier to keep Benji safe. “In my heart, I knew this was the perfect program for us,” Benji’s mother says.

The SaferKids program helps provide safety equipment and resources to children with disabilities and their families. “The grant is primarily focused on helping medically underserved families whose children are ages birth-to-five who have developmental concerns, primarily autism, which puts them at increased risk for wandering and other safety concerns,” Michelle Schumacher, a social worker and family navigator at the Waisman Center and the coordinator of the SaferKids program, says. 

Without the program, Benji’s mother says she would not have been able to afford the myriad of products she now uses to keep Benji safe. “When places have programs that help people out like this, that’s something I like to see. Because in other states, they don’t have stuff like this,” Benji’s mother  says. “It’s amazing all the stud [the grant] is able to help with and I think it’s a really great program.”