The Victorian Transportation of Children and Youth with Additional Needs Partnership (TOCAN), which was established by The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), was acknowledged for their exceptional work at the Australasian College of Road Safety national conference in Sydney yesterday.
The team won the prestigious 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award for their profound efforts to increase the awareness of government, industry and the medical fraternity relating to issues surrounding the transport of children with additional needs or temporary medical difficulties.
RCH Safety Centre Senior Project Coordinator, Barbara Minuzzo said, “It’s gratifying to know that TOCAN has had a direct impact on national policy, practice and knowledge surrounding the safe restraint of children with additional needs during transportation. It was inspiring for the group to be recognised at a national level”.
“Receiving the 3M-ACRS Diamond Road Safety Award is exciting not just for TOCAN, but for the families with children with additional needs. The increased awareness around the support required for these families is a significant achievement,” she said.
The RCH Safety Centre has been at the forefront of coordinating advice on transportation of children with disabilities or medial needs for over 18 years. TOCAN was established by The RCH Safety Centre in 2009 to formalise a working group that Child Safety was fostering. The partnership includes representatives from the RCH Safety Centre, RCH Occupational Therapy Department, The Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, School of Occupational Therapy at La Trobe University, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, VicRoads, Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), Britax Childcare, Australian Child Restraint Resource Initiative, Autism Victoria and the Association for Children with a Disability.
Ms Minuzzo said, “Receiving the award validates and adds credibility to TOCAN’s efforts and it will also play an important role in providing additional support to case workers.”
“There are different and complex factors involved in the motor vehicle safety restraints for children with additional needs. TOCAN is working to ensure more consistent knowledge and information is available to the case workers, which will directly benefit the families.”
The Diamond Road Safety Award includes a trip to the United States next year to attend the 43rd ATSSA Annual Convention and Traffic Expo and to visit technology company 3M’s global head quarters. The trip will be used to broaden the group’s knowledge of road safety issues by networking with similar organisations.
TOCAN will also be hosting a one day workshop at the RCH on 28 September 2012, which will provide information about child safety restraints for children with additional needs.
For more information on the workshop please contact the RCH Safety Centre on (03) 9345 5085.