Housing, Shelter

Hibiscus Childrens Center Inc

Saving Children Since 1985

Jensen Beach, FL


Hibiscus Children's Center's mission is to maintain a safe shelter for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected by providing prevention, early intervention, and advocacy in quality residential, assessment and recovery programs.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Hibiscus Children's Center is thankful for our generous community's support. For over three decades, together we have been saving the lives of abused, abandoned and neglected children and giving them a brighter future. Thank You.

Ruling Year



Mr. Matt Markley

Main Address

P.O. Box 1406

Jensen Beach, FL 34958 USA


Florida, Shelter, Abuse Prevention, Abuse Recovery, Trauma Informed Care, Mental Health Services





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Other Housing, Shelter N.E.C. (L99)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Community Mental Health Center (F32)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Every year, more than 50,000 children are victims of child abuse and neglect in Florida. Every day, 7 children in South Florida are removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Child abuse comes in many forms - physical, mental, emotional, sexual, abandonment and/or neglect. Whatever the form, it is always traumatizing to the child. Statistics show that children who experience abuse or neglect are nine times more likely to become involved in criminal activity, human trafficking and develop suicidal ideations. The estimated average lifetime cost of child abuse is over $200,000, per victim. These statistics are disturbing and that is why Hibiscus Children's Center has continued for over three decades to provide the safety, nurturing, critical services and skills to abused, abandoned and neglected children in our care. Every day, we are helping children overcome these obstacles and begin the road to healing and a successful future.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hibiscus Children's Center

Tilton Family Children's Shelter

Hibiscus Children's Village

Supporting Families in Crisis Program

Mental Health Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The mission of Hibiscus Children's Center is to maintain a safe shelter for children who are abused, abandoned and neglected by providing prevention, early intervention, and advocacy in quality residential, assessment and recovery programs. Every day across the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, Hibiscus aims to provide quality services to prevent child abuse, intervene and help children recover from trauma, and help children and youth build a strong foundation for the future. Hibiscus works to break the cycle of child abuse with the children and youth in our care so they will lead productive adult lives and provide loving and safe homes for their families.

One of the most critical elements of Hibiscus Children's Center's services is therapeutic counseling children receive in our residential facilities (Hibiscus Shelter and Hibiscus Village), and received by children in our community. Through professional mental health services, we aim to increase the overall mental health functioning for children and decrease trauma symptoms as measured by increasing resiliency and protective factors. 100 percent of children placed at Hibiscus Children's Center have access to mental health services while in our care. Hibiscus Counselors are master-level and trauma-trained professional staff seeking to help children heal from trauma. In addition, Hibiscus has expanded our provision of community mental health services to assist children in our community. By providing additional children on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County with these services, it will strengthen our families and community, and help children recover from issues they experience such as bullying, divorce, anxiety, fear, abuse and low self-esteem. Specialized sexual abuse treatment is provided to victims and their families to prevent further sexual victimization while enabling families to develop healthy, non-abusive relationships. Hibiscus Children’s Center implemented the Sanctuary Model in 2017 to provide each child in our programs with services designed to reach identified treatment goals and objectives through a trauma-informed approach. Staff participate in on-going Sanctuary Model trainings. The model serves as the blueprint for clinical and organizational change which, at its core, promotes safety and recovery from adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community. A recognition that trauma is pervasive in the experience of human beings forms the basis for the Sanctuary Model's focus not only on the people who seek services, but equally on the people and systems who provide those services. Education and literacy are main focuses for the children in Hibiscus' care. The Educational Liaison at our Shelter and Village work closely with the children, public schools and available community resources. Through these services, our goal is that 100 percent of our youth will earn their GED, High School Diploma, or be enrolled in school at the time of their 18th birthday. The costs to serve abused and abandoned children in crisis are rising. Hibiscus Children's Center remains dependent upon generous community support as state/federal funding covers only about 70% of the services we provide. The additional 30% is currently raised through special events, individual and foundation donations and grants. Hibiscus continually seeks additional revenue streams to support the children's services through fundraising opportunities, community awareness, grants, foundations and corporate support.

Hibiscus Children's Center has been saving the lives of children for over 35 years and is well-respected in the community and a leader in the child welfare arena. As services are needed to meet the needs of children and families, Hibiscus has committed to providing those services through increased expansion of programs throughout the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County. Hibiscus is able to continue providing these services and protecting children daily through the dedication of our staff and supporters, as well as our community partnerships that are an integral part of what we do every day for children and families. Hibiscus Children's Center employs over 140 qualified and dedicated staff. Staff working closely with the children are trauma trained and therapeutic counselors are master level therapists. Hibiscus has committed volunteers who provide support in our residential facilities with children, such as mentoring and tutoring, cooking meals, chaperoning field trips, as well as volunteers who commit time to fundraise, create community awareness, and much more. Hibiscus has strong leadership and is guided by a dedicated Board of Directors, CEO and Leadership Team. The Career Pathways to Independence Program, serving youth living at the Hibiscus Village, provides life skill development and career preparation training. The youth are engaged in community based internships with local businesses and agencies. Hibiscus is able to provide these critical services through the support of many local businesses who have responded to partnering with our youth. These include sub shops, restaurants, fast food restaurants, banks and financial institutions, pet stores, real estate, hair salons, and many more. Participating youth receive a career and interest assessment to provide an understanding of talents, interests, personality and skills in order to establish compatible future work areas and fields of interest. SafeCare is an evidence-based training program for parents who are at-risk or have been reported for child abuse and neglect. SafeCare services are targeted to families that have one or more risk factors, including families with substance abuse or domestic violence issues, teenage parents, parents of special needs children, single parents, and low-income families through at-home parent education and training. This program is a collaborative program between Hibiscus Children’s Center and Behavior Basics, Inc., a local non-profit that improves the quality of life for clients and their families through education, training and ongoing services. Through strong leadership, generous support, dedicated staff and volunteers, and programs and services that have proven successful outcomes, Hibiscus Children's Center will continue to provide the vital services and programs needed to protect, heal and help prepare children and youth for the future.

Hibiscus Children's Center measures outcomes of the services and programs provided to the children in our care and our community outreach services. A few examples of the ways progress is tracked and addressed for our children and youth include: Education and literacy are main focuses of our services in both the Shelter and Village. Many foster children have limited literacy skills that create a disadvantage for future academic success. This is mainly due to multiple placements and the instability in education these disruptions can cause. The goal of the Literacy Program is to provide children in Hibiscus' care with a positive learning environment and language experience in which they can learn, thrive, and feel safe. The continued success of the program is evidenced by the children's improved academic performance in school. The Florida Diagnostic and Assessment Test is the tool utilized for pre and post assessments. Quarterly reading reports and program scores and data are maintained and updated throughout the year. The data is collected and analyzed in an on-going process by Hibiscus staff members, including Education Coordinator, Director of Operations, and reviewed by the Performance and Quality Improvement Team. Youth participating in the Career Pathways Program are evaluated for identifying post-graduation opportunities and steps needed to attain them. Youth success is also measured by improved academic performance in school and youth receiving their High School Diploma or GED and enrolling in college. During the summer, youth participate in a multiple college tours. Youth progress is also tracked for participation in career related skill workshops and presentations, including financial literacy, budgeting, resume writing, and more. Also included is on-site and community internships and employment. School attendance and tardiness are also tracked and addressed with positive solutions.

Hibiscus Children's Center has been saving the lives of children for over 35 years and has been a leader in the child welfare arena. We have provided over 3,000 children with 375,000 nights of safety. We have been able to help abused children in our care feel safe, loved and begin the healing process for over three decades, along with support services to thousands of community children and families. Hibiscus' residential facilities, Shelter and Village, provide safe haven to abused, abandoned and neglected children. The 36-bed Shelter in Jensen Beach provides safety and care to children ages birth - 12 years old, and older siblings may be placed as well. The 40-bed Village in Vero Beach provides safety and care to youth ages 13-17 years old. Last year, the Shelter and Village provided 23,650 nights of safe care to children. Since our beginning, thousands of children have slept safely, some for the first time, and began the healing journey after stepping through our doors. Trauma Informed Care Staff and counselors understand how trauma experiences such as abuse and neglect impact children’s emotional, social, cognitive, and developmental growth. This understanding guides the treatment process and overall care of children. The children and teens we serve experience – many for the first time – a true sense of home for healing and transition. Rituals like bedtime stories and birthday celebrations integrate with the daily routine to ensure the shelter does not feel institutional. Children are introduced to the arts and participate in school extracurricular activities. Most importantly, they receive love and nurturing from compassionate services. Hibiscus Mental Health Team has been awarded "Best Mental Health Community Services" by the Reader's Choice Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Hibiscus provides Outpatient Mental Health Services to over 400 children annually in schools and homes in Indian River, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Martin County. Children and families have received services to help overcome mental health issues and provided resources and coping skills. Hibiscus specializes in the treatment of trauma-based disorders, behavioral health, infant mental health, and healing victims of sexual abuse. The children also receive psychiatric services such as medication management in conjunction with our counseling services to ensure the best outcomes. Parents As Teachers, a new parent education home-visiting program in Okeechobee was successfully implemented by our Clinical Team. Hibiscus Children’s Center is the only Department of Health sanctioned Sexual Abuse Treatment Program. This year, Hibiscus implemented an Equine Therapy and Music Program. This new innovated therapeutic approach will bring transformational healing to children and reach them in a way traditional therapies cannot. This therapy is an expansion of Hibiscus' current mental health services and helps build self-esteem and life skills.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), paper surveys, focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to identify and remedy poor client service experiences, to identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, to inform the development of new programs/projects, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.

External Reviews


Council on Accreditation 2019

Sanctuary Model 2020

SafeCare Agency Accreditation 2020


Outstanding Organization, St. Lucie County 2017

AFP National Philanthropy Day Awards

Hibiscus Martin County Guild - Outstanding Fundraising Group 2019

AFP National Philanthropy Day Awards

Hibiscus Indian River County Guild - Outstanding Fundraising Group 2019

AFP National Philanthropy Day Awards



Hibiscus Childrens Center Inc

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable