Safe Place Week 2023: What to Know
You may have seen the yellow and black signs throughout the County - but do you know what they mean? Safe Place is a national initiative that has been locally managed by Hillsborough County Children's Services for over 30 years that provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. National Safe Place Week is held during the third full week in March - March 20-26 in 2023 - to honor this outreach and prevention program and recognize the organizations and individuals who provide this safety net for youth.
Whether they've had a fight with their parents or are fleeing domestic abuse in the home, youth under the age of 18 can visit any of the dozens of Safe Place locations in Hillsborough, most of which are open 24/7, to get assistance. From fire stations to libraries, and even many McDonald's locations, there are staff ready to help.
To find a Safe Place:
• Visit the Safe Place map.
• Kids and teens in crisis can text SAFE with their current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) and within seconds receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number to Children's Services.
How Safe Place works:
• Step One: A young person enters a Safe Place and asks for help.
• Step Two: The employee at the Safe Place location finds a comfortable place for the youth to wait while they call the licensed Safe Place agency, Hillsborough County Children's Services .
• Step Three: Within 30 to 60 minutes, a qualified Safe Place volunteer or agency staff member will arrive to talk to the youth, and, if necessary, provide transportation to the Children's Services campus in Tampa.
Once at the campus, counselors meet with the youth and provide support. Children's Services staff makes sure the youth and their family receive the help and professional services they need.
How can you help? Awareness is key. By learning more about Safe Place, you can share this resource with youth you think may need it. It will help keep them safe and get them the support they need. You can make an impact by displaying this flyer in your local business.