New center in West Palm Beach will offer help to hundreds of abused children
There is a new shelter for Palm Beach County’s most vulnerable residents, victims of child abuse and domestic violence.
HomeSafe, located on Lyons Road near Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, offers rehabilitation programs and services for young survivors of severe trauma following physical, mental and emotional abuse.
The three-acre facility has a treatment center, individual bedrooms and bathrooms, a gym, a music room, a kitchen, and group therapy areas.
“They’ve been neglected or abused and abandoned, and then they come to us. The first thing our therapists have to do is tear down the walls,” said HomeSafe CEO Matthew Ladika.
All children are screened once they enter.
Staff members access them and see if they are experiencing developmental delays or postpartum depression. From there, they are assigned to one of its four main programs: Healthy Beginnings, Residential Group Care, SafetyNet, and HomeSafe at Pond Place.
“It’s a blessing when you see that transformation that makes it all worthwhile. That’s why the staff has been here twenty years, because when you see that, it means everything to them,” Ladika said.
According to the organization, this is one of five agencies in the state that provides a unique level of care to children who have been removed from their homes by the state.
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month.
According to the Florida Department of Children and Families Child Welfare Panel, more than 16,000 closed cases of child abuse and neglect were reported statewide in February 2021.
To help children in need, Ladika said she wants to expand.
“What does this mean for the community? They should be absolutely delighted that this exists, so God forbid that any of their children potentially who may be in the child dependency system and need this level of care, we have tremendous comprehensive services.” . I declare.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected in Florida, you are required by law to report it to the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).
For signs that a child may be abused, do click here.