Hibiscus Children’s Center “Taking Care of Children During COVID-19 Pandemic”
Martin County, FL – The COVID-19 Pandemic has created unprecedented challenges that we are facing as a community and as a non-profit caring for one of the most vulnerable populations, abused children. As a result of the current situation, families have felt isolated and financially stressed and many parents have faced the challenge of unemployment or reduced hours. The possibility of increased abuse and/or neglect is very real for children in our community. Hibiscus Children’s Center is working to keep children safe and healthy. Like most of our community, Hibiscus continues to follow all CDC guidelines related to the pandemic. Our priority is always the safety and well-being of our children, along with the staff who care for them.
The staff at the Jensen Beach Shelter have done a terrific job over the last several months in keeping our children active while focusing on their education. When schools closed earlier this year, Sabrina Seme, our Educational Coordinator, was able to secure laptops for all our children and coordinate virtual school. She created a daily schedule that mirrored their normal school schedule. This was a tremendous help for staff and children to keep on track with online studies and consistent routines.
Hibiscus Mental Health Therapists worked with our children to help them process through a very stressful time. Although the children adapted very well, we always want to be sure they can express any fears or anxiety they may be experiencing. Technology continues to play an important role at this time for many of us. The children who normally receive visitations are still able to have virtual parent/relative contact so they can keep connected to their families. Stephanie Taylor, Volunteer & Activities Coordinator, has created some fun activities for our children to enjoy indoors, such as Dance, Music and Imagineers (Lego) Clubs, along with great outdoor activities including volleyball, bounce houses, toddler pool, and playing on the Shelter’s beautiful new playground. The kids enjoy watching movies in the evening as they prepare for bedtime.
Staci Evans, Director of Shelter Operations, shared, “It has been awesome to see this group of people come together as a team over the last several months to take care of our children. They have all done an outstanding job, including new employees that have just come on board. The Behavioral Health Techs are on the front-line taking care of our children and they show up every day, sometimes working double shifts, to ensure the children are cared for and help guide them through their school studies. We have a team responsible for sanitizing the Shelter in the morning, afternoon and on the overnight shift. This includes people from all departments working together. Our medical staff are monitoring our children closely for any symptoms of the virus and working directly with the staff to provide support. Sara Elswick, Lead Medical Asst., has put in overtime every week to make sure everyone is cared for and healthy. This crisis is no doubt a challenge, but it has also brought out the very best in our staff who are so dedicated to the care and well-being of our children”.
A FEW OF OUR TERRIFIC SHELTER STAFF MEMBERS!