Information in this article courtesy of ARC Broward and 2-1-1 BrowardSponsored By Children's Services Council of Broward County

Families deserve to live in communities with resources and information that provide safe and healthy experiences for children. Broward AWARE! Protecting OUR Children is a full scale awareness campaign that aims to ensure that Broward County families, educators, law enforcement and media use and share those resources so that all children can safely realize their full potential, their hopes and dreams.

When it comes to abuse, neglect and maltreatment of children with special needs, there are various factors at play for abuse. They include the following:

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  • Prior history of child abuse or neglect
  • Disruptions in bonding and attachment
  • Persistent, serious family stress
  • Caregiver’s negative attitude about parenting
  • Lack of knowledge about child’s development that leads to unrealistic expectations of the child
  • Inappropriate or severe discipline practices
  • Involvement with the juvenile justice system
  • Low income family
  • Single parent household
  • Teen pregnancy
  • History of family substance abuse
  • Persistent, serious family conflict
  • Child(ren) or parent(s) with established and/or developmental conditions that impact their family’s functioning
  • Family management problem
  • Poor parental supervision


According to the US Census, Broward County has a higher prevalence of residents with disabilities than the national average. National statistics (Sullivan and Knutson) indicate that children with disabilities are now 3.4 times more likely to be maltreated than nondisabled peers. There is a 9 percent prevalence rate of maltreatment for nondisabled children compared to a 31 percent prevalence rate for the disabled children.

Some of the key takeaways for parents to act as teachers for their children with special needs:

  • Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers
  • The early years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and in life
  • It’s important parents take advantage of programs that offer child development activities that encourage language development, intellectual growth and social development

Ways in which family strengthening can occur:

  • Early Identification of Risks and/or Abuse
  • Parent Education
  • Parent Skill Development
  • Networking with other Families and needed Resources
  • Development of individually tailored Strategies and Interventions


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There are numerous community resources for individuals with special needs and at-risk families including: Family Strengthening Program, County Funded Respite CARE, CSC Broward Funded MOST Program, Community Mental Health Centers, and Advocates. Families interested in receiving more information about resources are encouraged to call 2-1-1 Broward at 2-1-1. They can also visit

About Broward AWARE!

Families deserve to live in communities with resources and information that provide safe and healthy experiences for children…and children deserve to enjoy a childhood allowing for safe play, learning and nurturing. 

Broward AWARE, Protecting Our Children combines the efforts of dozens of agencies engaged in the prevention of child abuse and neglect or the healing of its effects to provide the community with the resources necessary to keep our children safe.

The Children’s Services Council of Broward County is an independent taxing authority which was established by a public referendum on September 5, 2000, and reauthorized via referendum on November 4, 2014, which, through Public Act, Chapter 2000-461 of the laws of Florida, authorized the Council to levy up to 0.5 mills of property taxes. The role of the Council is to provide the leadership, advocacy and resources necessary to enhance children’s lives and empower them to become responsible, productive adults through collaborative planning and funding of a continuum of quality care. To learn more about programs and services the Children’s Services Council funds, please call (954) 377-1000.

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Above content provided by Children’s Services Council of Broward County.