ELWOOD — The Elwood Fire Department has joined the long list of departments in the state and country to have a Safe Haven Baby Box at their station.
On Tuesday, the baby box was blessed at its new home at 1505 South B Street in Elwood.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes has had seven surrenders via Baby Box so far this year. The Elwood location marks the 113th Baby Box in the nation.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes was founded by Monica Kelsey, who was abandoned as an infant.
“The Elwood Fire Department has protected the City of Elwood and its residents for over 125 years,” Elwood Fire Chief Mark Sullivan said. “We are always striving to better ourselves for the protection of our citizens through training and modernization of equipment. The Safe Haven Baby box is another great tool in our toolbox to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens.”
The project was made possible due to the generosity of an anonymous donor that contributed to the Outreach Missions Witness Committee at the Elwood First United Methodist Church. This committee along with Pastor Roberta Cook and Alice Humel-Denton truly advocated for this asset to be placed in the community.
What is a Safe Haven Baby Box?
Baby boxes are safe incubators that have alarm systems, so 911 is notified as soon as a baby is placed inside. The baby boxes also have heating and cooling features.
Once the infant is collected by first responders, they're taken to the nearest medical facility to be evaluated.
Infants surrendered under Indiana's Safe Haven Law are placed in the custody of the state's Department of Child Services after they are released from the hospital. The process then begins to find an adoptive family within 30-45 days.
Safe Haven Hotline
The boxes make the news, but the Safe Haven Hotline is where most of these journeys begin.
SHBB staffs a 24-hour Safe Haven hotline (1-866-99BABY1), so parents can talk to trained professionals and get more information about their options for surrendering or how to get assistance to help them be able to care for their child.
The SHBB hotline is staffed by licensed counselors.
The Safe Haven Law allows mothers to safely surrender their infants, anonymously, up to 30 days old.