News

Hibiscus Children’s Center Keeping Kids Safe

06-19-2024

June is National Safety Month!  This is a time dedicated to raising awareness about preventing injuries and promoting safety in various aspects of our lives. One crucial area that demands our attention is the safety of children, as they are the most vulnerable members of society and our most precious resource. 

Close to 40 years ago, Hibiscus Founder LaVaughn Tilton was deeply affected by the lack of safe placements for abused children removed from their homes and had a vision of communities where children could grow up free of abuse.  Since that time, more than 3,500 abused, abandoned and neglected children have received safe haven at the Tilton Family Children’s Center in Jensen Beach and Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach. Children arrive at Hibiscus scared and traumatized. Every day, they are welcomed by caring staff and volunteers and have received over 475,000 nights of safety since 1985. Children are provided critical services including mental health, educational, medical, trauma-informed care, career training and hope for a brighter future.

Ava (name changed) was eight when she was placed at the Tilton Family Children’s Shelter.  Although she felt scared and alone, the Hibiscus team of caregivers immediately assured Ava that she was safe. Over time, Ava began to feel more secure and learned to trust the staff and volunteers. Mental Health Counselor provided therapy to help Ava heal, feel more confident and learn to cope with the trauma she endured. After leaving Hibiscus, Ava was placed in foster homes for several years. Ava returned years later to the Hibiscus Village and felt hopeless and alone. The years of moving from foster home to foster home and the difficult circumstances that surrounded her family had taken its toll. The staff worked with Ava to help her realize how valuable she was and that she had the potential for a better future. Slowly, Ava began to envision the life she wanted to have. She concentrated on school and was involved in sports. Her determination to get her life back on track was evident in her willingness to work hard in school and with her therapist who provided the tools to handle her anger and hurt appropriately.  Ava participated in the Career Pathways Program which assists teens in preparing for the future. When Ava turned 18, she was equipped with the life skills, career knowledge and resources she needed to succeed and was enrolled in college. Ava shared, “I don’t know what I would have done without Hibiscus. I would not have made it here and on the road to a productive life”.

We would love the opportunity to share more with you about how you can get involved and help children!  For more details, please visit us at HibiscusChildrensCenter.org or contact Michelle King, CDO, at mking@hcc4kids.org.  

Group of kids