Becca’s Experience

In 2010 and 2011, the Colville Confederated Tribes Tribal Health Programs worked with Native CARS to strengthen child passenger safety awareness with Native American caregivers. Tribal Health employees provided more than 12 two-hour basic car seat educational classes to four different tribal communities. 

These classes were instrumental in getting child passenger safety awareness at the forefront of the community’s mind. Over 100 participants completed this 2-hour class and received a free car seat as an incentive. As a result of positive feedback from participants in this class and an aggressive media campaign on the Colville Reservation, a child passenger safety seat law was proposed for the reservation and enacted in August of 2011.


Begin by Preparing for your Community Education Activities


Step 1: Preparation

Several things need to be considered in order to provide targeted education that is well received by the community.

As you prepare your training, consider these questions: 

  • Have you reviewed the most up-to-date CPS technical information?
  • Who is your target audience, and what are their informational needs?
  • How much time do you have to provide the needed information?
  • What materials do you need to provide this information?
  • Would the audience benefit more from an organized presentation, hands-on demonstrations, or a combination of the two?
  • How are you going to promote your event so that it is well attended?

When planning a community education opportunity, speaking with community representatives beforehand about their expectations will flesh out the answers to most of these questions.  What you have in mind for community education might not align with what the audience most wants from the presentation.  Proper but flexible planning will maximize what your audience takes away from the training.

Presenting a quality child passenger safety seat educational class can satisfy CPS Tech recertification requirements, and most importantly, it promotes proper child transportation.  It can make all the difference in whether or not a child survives a collision event.

Step 2: Define your Target Audience

Before you begin to design media, trainings, presentations, or other materials that target specific groups in your community, it is important to understand what makes them or their needs unique from other drivers. If you have collected data through vehicle observations or elicitation interviews, you may already have valuable data that will help clarify or influence your approach. If this type of data is unavailable to you or it has raised more questions, you may want to develop a simple knowledge and needs questionnaire to better guide your approach (see attached sample questionnaire).


Community Collaboration

Once you feel you have enough information to understand who your target audience is and what their knowledge and needs are, you may want to connect with other programs that are serving these drivers. Determine which of these programs are also prepared to provide guidance or assistance regarding child passenger safety.

  • What do the program staff people know about child passenger safety?
  • What, if any, services or assistance is provided if the user of their program has a child safety seat-related need?
  • What would they be willing to do if they were given the right training, direction, resources, or materials?

Below is just a small list of potential partners you may find in your community or region. These partners may be valuable in helping you develop further materials or resources for these caregivers.

  • Local Police and Fire departments
  • Schools and aftercare employees
  • Social Service departments
  • Doctor’s office
  • Safety Coalitions


To develop focused training, go to the next section.