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 may be feeling isolated and financially stressed and many parents are facing the challenge of closed daycares and schools. 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 has implemented a proactive plan and is following 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.
Right now, the 36-bed Hibiscus Shelter in Jensen Beach is full of activities! The staff is doing a great job keeping our children active while focusing on education. Virtual school started recently and Sabrina Seme, our Educational Coordinator, was able to secure laptops for all our children. She has created a daily schedule that mirrors their normal school schedule. This has been a tremendous help for staff and children to keep on track with online studies and consistent routines.
Hibiscus Mental Health Therapists are working with our children to help them process through this stressful time. Although the children are doing very well, we want to be sure they can express any fears or anxiety they may be experiencing. Technology is playing 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 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”.
These latest challenges will strain an already tight budget and additional financial support will be required to meet unanticipated costs over and above our typical operating expenses. If you would like to support the children or learn more, please contact Michelle King, Chief Development Officer, at (cell) 561-452-5791 or visit us at HibiscusChildrensCenter.org.
A FEW OF OUR TERRIFIC SHELTER STAFF MEMBERS!