Celebrating the Impact of Dr. Phillips Charities in the Time of COVID-19

Dr. Phillips Charities has granted The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, Part of Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, more than $25,000 to help with the impact of COVID-19 on local children, teens and their caregivers in Central Florida.

Dr. Phillips Charities, a major supporter of Orlando Health and not-for-profits throughout Central Florida, recently announced more than $1,000,000 in grant funding to assist local charities meet special needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Orlando Health is honored to be one of the recipients of this funding; a very special grant will assist families served by The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families.

This is a critical time for The Howard Phillips Center. The families that come to The Center every day seeking help, and hope, are some of the most vulnerable: children who have experienced physical and sexual abuse, infants and toddlers with special needs, families living in poverty and at-risk for abuse, and teens who have nowhere to turn for healthcare and mental health counseling when their families are struggling to make ends meet. While their programs have completely changed service models in response to the pandemic, they are steadfast in continuing their mission to advocate for and respond to the needs of children in Central Florida who have medical, emotional and developmental challenges, especially those related to child abuse and neglect.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, families who are already at-risk have been among the first to lose employment, food and shelter, and the first to spiral into crisis. It is well documented that stress creates situations where child abuse skyrockets. Teens have been foregoing healthcare to help their families survive. Prioritizing therapies for children with special needs is impossible when families become homeless and are forced to focus on survival.

The consequences of the pandemic have included job losses, reduced income and resources, and increased stress for many people in our community as well as nationwide. However, the families served by The Howard Phillips Center are among the most impacted as they are disproportionately impoverished and have low income since we target at-risk families and provide all services free of charge. Other community service providers refer children and families to us because The Center’s reputation for providing outstanding, evidence-based services is well-known in the Central Florida community. The families and children served have been isolated and disconnected from schools, churches and community services that would typically serve as a safety net. Families need The Center now more than ever.

Dr. Phillips Charities is helping The Howard Phillips Center ensure that children and families continue to receive the services they need to promote their health and safety. Programs have had to quickly adapt to a virtual service delivery model whenever possible to keep families safe during the pandemic. This includes mental health counseling for child abuse victims, early intervention for infants and toddlers with special needs, counseling for teens in low-income families, and virtual home visiting services to help prevent child abuse.

This critical grant from Dr. Phillips Charities will improve the efficiency of our virtual services by enhancing The Center’s technology infrastructure. The efficiency and effectiveness of virtual services are expected to contribute to reduction in the time it takes families to begin early intervention services, and secure improvement in mental health outcomes for children and family members receiving treatment.

Dr. Phillips Charities has supported the mission of The Howard Phillips Center since its beginning now two decades ago. Orlando Health is incredibly honored to be partnered with Dr. Phillips Charities and the legacy that Dr. P. Phillips himself, once the largest citrus producer in the world, left in the Central Florida community. The Phillips Family’s impact has been felt by thousands of children and families over the years. Orlando Health and the families we serve are deeply grateful for the leadership and generosity of the Dr. Phillips Charities Board members and staff.

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