Hibiscus Staff Provides Outstanding Care During Covid-19 Pandemic
The Hibiscus Staff are definitely one of the most important elements of Hibiscus Children’s Center.  Every day, dedicated staff are taking care of our most vulnerable children.  Our residential staff provide the nurturing, stability, guidance, structure, encouragement, and love our children desperately need.   Our community outreach staff provide critical resources and tools to help our children and families succeed.   Clinicians who are certified in the Sexual Abuse Treatment Program receive specialized annual training and are certified through the Florida Department of Health. 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.  All agency staff have been trained in the Sanctuary Model. 

Additional staff working in administration help to support the operations of our programs and services.  Working together with our generous community and partners, Hibiscus Children’s Center successfully accomplishes our important mission to keep children safe every day.  

This year, the staff have done an outstanding job taking care of our children and families during the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Heading into 2020, no one could have predicted what this year would bring to our community, and to the entire world.   The Pandemic brought with it new challenges for all of us, but especially for caring for our children in the Shelter and Village and providing services in our outreach community programs to families in need. 
Read more below about the incredible job our staff has done during this challenging time and some of our staff share their thoughts on HCC.  

Hibiscus Shelter Staff

Hibiscus Shelter staff in masks

The dedicated Shelter staff have been working through the COVID-19 challenges to take care of the children. L-R/Back Row: Norda Brown, Kadeidra Delions, Fatrina Holmes, Shana Boggs, Gregory Norcilus, and Tanisha Cherry. L-R/Front Row: Sara Elswick and Stephanie Taylor.

Read Shelter Article

“Working at Hibiscus is not only meaningful and fulfilling, but has opened my eyes to so many things that have helped me to become a better person. Each day is filled with challenges and being exposed to new ideas. Its truly an honor to be part of a team of individuals who are committed to changing the lives of children and families”.
– Staci Evans, Director of Shelter Operations (30 years)

“Working for Hibiscus Children’s Center has truly been a Blessing for my family and myself! Not only are we in the business of helping hundreds of children in and out of our local communities, but Hibiscus helps it’s employees too! I worked at the thrift store as the driver that picked up furniture for six years. Then I worked in the Finance department for two years. Now I’m the office manager at the shelter! This October will make three years in this position. I’m a living testimony that Hibiscus promotes within! It’s so rare that employers take the time to get to know their employees and push them because they want you to succeed on the job and in life! Hibiscus will take the time to invest in its employees. I’m very fortunate to say that I’m employed with Hibiscus Children’s Center! It really is a honor to work here!”
– Andre Glover, Shelter Office Manager (11 years)

Sabrina Michelle, Education and Activities Coordinator, shares what Hibiscus means to her.  

Hibiscus Village Staff

Village staff in masks

Village staff did an outstanding job taking care of our youth during Covid-19. L-R: Donna Clements, Raelyn Edwards, Jennifer Brunk, True Price, Rey Navarro, Marcia McDonald, Sheryl Overcash and Michalene Jefferson.

Read Village Article

“Working with the teens at the Hibiscus Village is so inspiring, challenging, and exciting each and every day. Watching them grow up and accomplish things, no matter how large or small, is both a pleasure and a blessing. The gleam in their eyes and the smiles on their faces when they witness their own successes makes me feel like I’m part of something big. THAT is what keeps me motivated to do a better job.” 
Frank L. Avilla, Director of Career Pathways to Independence (3 1/2 years)

“Having the privilege of serving alongside Hibiscus staff, volunteers, and children these past thirteen years has truly been the most rewarding experience. I have had the incredible opportunity to witness hope given to the most vulnerable youth in our community, and as result, many children’s futures have been positively impacted. The greatest blessing is receiving a phone call or visit from a former client, thanking the dedicated staff and generous volunteers for their faithfulness!”
– Donna Clements, Volunteer Coordinator/Activities Coordinator (13 years)

“I find my work very rewarding and fulfilling at Hibiscus Children’s Center”.
Sheryl Overcash, Assistant Program Director of Village Operations  (14 ½ years)

“They may forget what you said but will never forget how you made them feel” -Carl Buechner

“Making a difference in these kids life, this is why I’ve been with HCC for over 14 years. What we do and how we can impact these kids life forever. I enjoy the interacting with the kids and being a consistent staff member within this company.”
– Jonethia Dawkins, Lead Behavioral Health Tech (14 years)

Hibiscus Mental Health Services

We invite you to watch a video that highlights the professional Mental Health services that Hibiscus provides to our children in the Shelter and Village, as well as to the community.
Caroline Vinyard, COO, is joined by Lacey Buxton, Director of Outpatient Services/Sexual Abuse Treatment Program Coordinator, and Susan Murphy, Director of Residential Clinical Services.

Read Mental Health Press Release

I have been with Hibiscus for 2 1/2 years. I was previously with Hibiscus for 4 years and returned because I believe so strongly in the mission to serve our community and work to protect the children in our area. I feel the best part of my job here at Hibiscus is being able to advocate and give voices to those that are not always heard.
Lacey Buxton, LMHC, Director of Outpatient Services/Sexual Abuse Treatment Program Coordinator (6 1/2 years total)

“I really enjoy the level of teamwork that goes into each day. The team works in harmony every day to help the children in the best way possible. ”
– Jenna Huseinovic MS, BHOS Therapist (3 1/2 years, including Internship)

“I like the way that the team supports each other”
Harriet Ostertag, MA, BHOS Coordinator (8.75 years)

Hibiscus Community Outreach Program Staff
Supporting Families in Crisis – St. Lucie County
SafeCare Program – St. Lucie & Indian River Counties
Parents as Teachers Program – Okeechobee County
Community Outreach staff have been providing services to children and families in the community throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic.  All program staff have followed safety precautions and guidelines and utilized Telehealth to meet with their clients.

Read More About Outreach Services

“I have been working for Hibiscus Children’s Center for two years as of September 18th, 2020. I am currently working in the SafeCare parenting skills training program full-time as a Parent Coach and Provider Coach; and also work part-time for the Community Mental Health Program as a clinician. I have enjoyed working for this agency in both capacities. Oftentimes, the overlap of parenting skills used in the SafeCare program I use with parents of the children I counsel in the CMH program, warrants further success in the counseling process. It has been very rewarding watching these children and families grow and learn new skills. For me, I have to maintain proper boundaries because it can be easy to assist and become too involved in the process. Learning to engage the clients in the process of making changes they identify for themselves,  has been the key to success for many of them.” 
– Jean Snyder, MA, Parent Coach – Safe Care program (2 years)

“I have been with the agency for 24 years. Starting out at the shelter and then with Supporting Families in Crisis as a Family Advocate and now as the program manager. I am proud of the fact that for 35 years Hibiscus has helped keep children and families safe for all these years and being the leader in the community.”
– Will Malone, Supporting Families in Crisis Program Manager (24 years)


Our staff share their thoughts about what HCC means to them. 

Caroline Vinyard, Chief Operating Officer

“Hibiscus places hope in children that have suffered from the most horrific abuse and trauma.  We provide the children and youth with skills to learn how to live a healthy and productive life free from fear, endangerment, and abuse in a stable and loving environment where they can build a healthy bridge into adulthood and reach their highest potential.  Hibiscus is a Sanctuary of Hope for Children.  A place that encourages children to dream big, shine bright, and sparkle more!!”
– Lori Swift, Director of Outreach and Events (19 years)

Michelle King, Chief Development Officer