The Various Student Services in Today's College

LifehacksStudent Life
Feb 2, 2023

The Student Services Department Provides a wide array of support services for students, staff, and families of Broward County Public Schools.  The department is comprised of several service delivery areas, including:

  1. Attendance
  2. Child Abuse and Neglect Services
  3. Family Counseling Services
  4. Foster Care
  5. Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team (HEART)
  6. Home Education
  7. Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders
  8. School Social Work Services

Child Abuse & Neglect Services

Child Abuse Services, in operation since 1984, is designed to ensure that all students will engage in student learning while living in safe home and school environments.  It is intended to improve the overall achievement of students through removing them from harmful and stressful circumstances, if necessary, and providing remedial supports for them to achieve academic success.

The program is responsible for interagency collaboration with the district Department of Children and Families, ChildNet, the Child Protection Team/ Nancy J. Cotterman Sexual Assault Treatment Center, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Child Protective Investigations Section, other law enforcement agencies, the judicial system and community providers.


The program provides the following services:

  • A self-directed online Child Abuse and Neglect training to increase the knowledge and skills of teachers and other school personnel as they learn indicators of suspected abuse, neglect and abandonment.
  • A specialized training for all school-based Child Abuse and Neglect designees
  • Case consultation is provided to school-based child abuse designees, school administrators, teachers and other school district staff (including charter schools) who are responsible for mandatory reporting.

Foster Care

Program Description

Foster Care Support Program Overview:

Dependency:  Children who have been determined to have been, or are at risk of, abuse, neglect, or abandonment while in the care of their parents or legal guardian may be involved in Dependency Court.   The  Student Services Department provides support to the student and their family by providing a Dependency Court Liaison who monitors juvenile dependency shelter hearings daily, and attends review hearings as needed.


We support families involved in Dependency Court by:

  • Providing a Dependency Court Liaison who monitors juvenile dependency shelter hearings daily, and attends review hearings as needed and provides feedback to school-based personnel (Foster Care Designee) so that appropriate action may be taken to ensure the safety of children.
  • Providing support, technical assistance and training to community stakeholders to remove barriers and enhance collaborative efforts aimed at increasing student success for youth in foster care.
  • Delivering the Fostering Student Success program, through an interagency agreement with ChildNet -Broward’s child welfare agency.
  • Supporting the stabilization of the child in school to ensure continuing academic instruction and achievement.
  • Coordinating transportation,  to the extent feasible, to maintain a level of consistency and continuity for students in foster care despite changes in their living situation.
  • Guiding and advocating for secondary level students so that graduation from high school and readiness for post-secondary education and/or vocational training is attainable. A program guidance counselor works directly with child welfare staff, partnership agencies and youth in foster care to achieve these goals.

Family Counseling Services

Mission Statement:

The Family Counseling Program, Catchment Area Information, is committed to the goal of helping students reach their maximum potential in the classroom while promoting optimal mental health and family functioning.

Program Description

When individuals experience emotional difficulties,  they may suffer repercussions that lead to problems in their general daily functioning. For students, this is often evident in the academic arena. Frequently, school-related problems may be symptomatic of those troubles.

The Family Counseling Program has been serving the Broward County community for more than thirty years. The program has consistently and positively affected student academic performance, responsible behavior in school, and regular attendance through the individual, family, and group counseling services offered. In measuring the impact the counseling services, an overall average of 89% of clients served have reported that the treatment objectives set in counseling have been successfully met and was reflected in improvement in academic performance, decreases in administrative referrals, and more regular school attendance. Mental health treatment goals enhanced family functioning, parenting skills, self- esteem, and interpersonal relationships.


The Family Counseling Program has found that when someone experiences emotional difficulty they may suffer repercussions that lead to problems in their general daily functioning. For students, this is often evident in the academic arena. Frequently school-related problems may be symptomatic of those troubles. The family counselors address a variety of family and emotional problems in counseling.  All services are free of charge, confidential, and are not included in a student’s cumulative folder.  The therapists provide a variety of issues, including:

  • Learning Disorders, School Phobia, ADD/ADHD
  • Hyperactivity, Study Skills, Peer Pressure
  • Parenting Skills, Self-esteem Issues, Abandonment
  • Bereavement/Loss, Separation/Divorce, Domestic Violence
  • Anger Management, Substance Abuse, Physical Abuse
  • Stress Management, Eating Disorders, Aggression
  • Communication Skills, Anxiety/Depression, Crisis Intervention
  • Economic Issues, Self-destructiveness, Bullying

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders

Program Description

Mentoring Tomorrow’s Leaders (MTL) is a peer-to-peer mentoring and student leadership program that serves youth who are at-risk for not graduating and/or remaining in school. The program aims to decrease dropout rates, particularly among minority males, to ensure successful school graduation.

MTL is based on the following five pillars:

1. Academic Achievement –  Students in 9th and 10th grade who earned below a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) are assigned an Academic Coach (a caring adult) and student mentor. Ongoing support includes a study hall for learning academic skills in a quiet, structured environment at least twice per week. The coach and mentor provide monitoring to set goals for increasing academic progress.

2. Mentoring – High achieving upperclassmen (3.0 GPA or above) with demonstrated leadership skills participate in a two-year mentor relationship with students who have earned less than a 2.0 GPA. This is a structured relationship that is facilitated by MTL program staff. All MTL students are connected to adult role models and mentors from the community during monthly workshops with guest speakers.

 3. Family Involvement – MTL  parents and guardians attend monthly parent education workshops to cover topics such as graduation requirements, grading, stages of adolescent development, academic needs of adolescents.

4Community Support –  Community members volunteer to serve as adult mentors and role models, guest speakers at parent and student workshops, as well as donors, sponsors and members of the MTL Advisory Board. Representatives from colleges interact with MTL students to present pathways for post-secondary education.

5. Incentives –  Program participants earn several incentives as they work to improve their grades and meet high school graduation requirements. Student mentors also earn incentives as they inspire their peers to achieve academic excellence. These incentives include visits to local colleges, college tour field trips throughout Florida, and recognition within the school and community.

Blanche Ely High School
Attucks Middle School
Boyd Anderson High School
Crystal Lake Middle School
Coconut Creek High School
Deerfield Beach Middle School
Deerfield Beach High School
Forest Glen Middle
Douglas, Stoneman High School
Margate Middle School
Hallandale High School
Nova Middle School
Miramar High School
Plantation Middle School
Northeast High School
Seminole Middle School
Nova High School
Collins Elementary School
Plantation High School
Park Lakes Elementary School
South Broward High School

Stranahan High School

Taravella, J.P. High School

Home Education

If you are choosing to enroll into Home Education, please read the information below.  You may click on any of the blue highlighted links, forms or statutes for further directions and procedures to comply with Home Education Enrollment.

Home education is in lieu of attending a public, charter or private school.

Upon deciding to establish and maintain a home education program for your child, you will be governed by Florida statutes regarding compulsory school age attendance laws as they relate to home education.  A student must be of  school age to be enrolled in Home Education, as specified in  section 1003.21, Florida Statutes.

Home Education is 100% parent driven.  By enrolling in home education, the parent is assuming all educational responsibilities regardless of the mechanism used to educate their child.  This includes all virtual (FLVS), correspondence, on-line curriculum or support groups.  The Home Education Office does not have access to any of the above third party educational records.

Students with a prior pattern of public school non-attendance will be subject to monthly portfolio reviews.

Homeless Education Assistance Resource Team (HEART)

Program Description

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001 governs the important work that HEART conducts. It defines homeless students (families in transition) as those lacking a fixed,regular or adequate nighttime residence. This definition includes students (PreK-12) who are “doubled-up” sharing the housing of other persons due to their family’s loss of housing, economic hardship or similar reasons. The primary nighttime residence of students experiencing homelessness may also include motels, camping grounds, residing in emergency or transitional shelters and in some instances, living in cars,parks, abandoned buildings, bus stations or other public places.

The ultimate goal of the McKinney-Vento Act and HEART is to remove barriers that might otherwise prevent students experiencing homelessness from enrolling, attending and succeeding in school.

HEART is here to help by providing the following support services:

  • School Supplies and Uniform Items
  • Coordination of Out-of-Boundary Transportation to School of Origin (certain rules apply)
  • Free school meals via BCPS Free and Reduced lunch program
  • Referrals to School and Community Services (e.g. School Social Worker, Family Counseling, Medical, Dental and Mental Health Referrals etc.)
  • Retrieval of Immunization Records and State of Florida Birth Certificates
  • Acess to ArtReach after school care program (K-8 at a central location)
  • Summer Camp Opportunities
  • Cap and Gown Rentals at No Cost to Graduating High School Students
  • Verification Letters Needed to Apply for College and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Presentations to Community Agencies and Civic Groups 

School Social Work Services

Who we are:

School Social Workers are advocates who help students achieve academic success by linking the home, school, and community. In order to reach this goal, School Social Workers provide support services to remove barriers to student success. These support services include intervention, crisis support and mental health counseling, addressing issues of non-attendance and truancy, completing behavioral assessments and psychosocial evaluations.

Additionally, School Social Work Services manages several district–wide specialty programs that directly impact and support the academic achievement and eventual high school graduation of the students of Broward County. These programs are legislatively mandated and/or supported by School Board policies.

What we do:

We act as Liaisons:

• Communicating with school staff
• Communicating with parents
• Communicating with community agencies
• Linking parents, staff and students to mental health, medical, and social service; including food, clothing, and shoes
• Providing follow-up case management with teachers, and parents.
• Promoting parent/school collaboration
• Conducting home visits

How we do it:

We provide Intervention/Counseling by:

• Facilitating Groups related to: divorce, social skills, conflict management/truancy prevention, parenting, and family adjustment.
• Counseling individuals for the short-term
• Supporting educational concerns
• Addressing family issues
• Helping to ease emotional and social concerns

We help with Non-Attendance Issues, providing truancy interventions through:

• Student assessment
• Family assessment
• Home visits
• Referrals to community agencies
• Referrals to Children in Need of Services/Families in Need of Services
• Consultations with appropriateness of student placement, curriculum and program
• Broward Truancy Intervention Program (BTIP)
• Referral to Department of Children and Families
• Representation in court
• Partnership with the State Attorney’s Office, District 17, State of Florida

We offer the following Assessments:

• Psycho-social assessment
• Adaptive behavior scales

We help to mitigate crisis through our Crisis Intervention Services:

• Serving on crisis support teams
• Managing crisis intervention response at school sites

We help support schools, students and families through Consultation by:

• Reviewing student records
• Observing students
• Consulting with individual or groups of teachers
• Participating on district committees
• Consulting with professionals in the community
• Participating on Collaborative Problem Solving Teams
• Participating on Staffing Committee
• Conducting parent conferences
• Participating on School Improvement Teams
• Consulting with parents

We offer  impactful and customized Trainings:

• On a variety of topics ranging from mental health issues, parenting issues, available community resources, and issues related to ESE students.

Written by
Joseph M. Michaels is a talented writer from Queensland, Australia. Alexander graduated from the University of Melbourne (Master of Tertiary Education (Management) Policy & Risk management. In his roles as Tertiary Program & Compliance Manager, Academic Services & Administration.

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