Hibiscus Children’s Center Provides Trauma-Informed Care to Children


In observance of National Safety Month (June), Hibiscus Children’s Center honors the vision of our Founder LaVaughn Tilton, who believed that all children should grow up in a safe and loving home, free from abuse and neglect. Her dream and determination for a safer and kinder tomorrow for children catapulted Hibiscus Children’s Center into the forefront of child welfare services 35 years ago.  Since opening our doors, Hibiscus has been a safe haven for more than 3,000 abused, abandoned and neglected children. Our children have received over 375,000 safe nights where they have felt protected, loved and worthwhile. 

Today, over 200 children are provided life-changing services annually at the Tilton Family Children’s Shelter in Jensen Beach and Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach. In addition to ensuring the children’s safety and well-being, critical services include medical and educational along with professional mental health counseling to help children heal from trauma. Child abuse comes in many forms, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual, neglect and/or abandonment. Hibiscus offers specialized therapy to treat victims of sexual abuse or youth that have been identified as targets of human trafficking. Clinicians who are certified in the Sexual Abuse Treatment Program receive specialized annual training and are certified through the Florida Department of Health.  Statistics show about one in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. 

One of the key elements to help address the trauma experienced by abuse victims is through trauma-informed care.  Hibiscus utilizes the Sanctuary Model, which is a trauma-informed organizational change model. The Sanctuary Model organizes both our treatment and the way we run our organization. Sanctuary is an inclusive model because it is a way of guiding leaders, staff, clients, and families to share the same language. Our organization is redefining what safety means – SAFETY is taking care of your body and yourself physically, psychologically, socially, and morally.   Physical safety is being safe in your body and safe in the world, psychological safety is being safe with yourself, social safety is being safe with other people, and moral safety is being safe with a guiding value system.  Hibiscus implemented the Sanctuary Model, facilitated by Dr. Sandra L. Bloom and the Sanctuary Institute, in 2017 and will receive our Sanctuary Certification later this year.   

 We would love the opportunity to share more about our 35 years of service and keeping children safe. Your support is always needed to help us continue providing critical services to our children.  Please visit us at or contact Michelle King, Chief Development Officer, at (cell) 561-452-5791.

Hibiscus Children’s Center Provides Trauma-Informed Care to Children