Who & what is SEDNET in Broward County?
The Broward County SENET project is a cooperative effort on the part the
School Board of Broward County, the Department of Children & Families,
parents/caregivers, youth, children’s agencies, community behavioral
centers, Department of Juvenile Justice, the Seventeenth Judicial
Circuit, ChildNet, One Community Partnership, and other organizations
that serve children and adolescents who have a severe emotional
Broward County’s SEDNET Advisory Board is an interagency collaboration
on an administrative organizational level to enhance service provision.
The Advisory Board’s activities are designed to promote a comprehensive
range of educational programs, behavioral health and substance abuse and
residential services to meet the multiple needs of youth who have a
severe emotional disturbance or are at-risk of a severe emotional
disturbance and live in Broward County.
A Coordinator, Case Manager and Administrative Assistant staff the
SEDNET project. The Coordinator provides staff support to the SEDNET
Advisory Board and all their activities and the Case Manager assists
families and students in obtaining appropriate educational and
behavioral health services within the Broward County Schools.
What does it mean to have a Severe Emotional Disturbance?
For the purposes of obtaining school based services for a student who
has severe emotional disturbance (SED) the student must meet the
criteria and characteristics that are found in Section 6A-6.03016 of the
Florida Administrative Code and The School Board of Broward County’s
Special Programs and Procedures for Exceptional Students.
Generally, a student must have a condition that results in persistent
maladaptive behaviors that interfere educational achievement. Some
examples of these handicapping characteristics are: an inability to
progress academically; inability to have satisfactory interpersonal
relationships; a pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression, and the
need for the student to receive mental heath services in a five day a
week program. (Please see the laws and regulations cited above for the
A broader general definition of serious emotional disturbance is
contained in the Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health
Services Act, F.S. 394.492(6) and is used when children and adolescents
need community based or residential treatment services supported by the
Florida Department of Children and Families. Generally, a
child/adolescent must have a mental, emotional or behavior disorder that
meets a diagnostic category in the most recent Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual and exhibits behavior that substantially interferes
with the child/adolescent’s ability to successfully function in school,
the family or community.
Can SEDNET assist a student who has a severe emotional disturbance
receive school-based services?
There are two ways in which a student who has a severe emotional
disturbance can be referred for recommended school-based services. In
the first instance, the SEDNET Case Manager will receive and process
referrals or recommendations from treatment teams at psychiatric
hospitals and/or residential treatment programs for children believed to
be in need of SED school placement and services. In the second instance,
referrals to the SEDNET Case Manager are made for students transferring
from out-of-state school districts that have determined a student
eligible for severely emotionally disturbed services and believe the
child to still be in need of such programming. Either parents or school
personnel at the current out-of-state facility or the Broward County
School receiving the transferring student can make these referrals.
Upon receipt of either of these types of referrals, the SEDNET Case
Manager can expedite and facilitate a staffing at a SED Center to
determine eligibility for services.
What information is required to be in the referral?
psychiatric evaluation/report less than six months old, that
includes a recommendation for SED services,
psychological evaluation less than one year old,
that is currently being implemented, and
4. Any other information should be as current as possible and be
reflective of the student’s present level of functioning, but older
documentation is also useful in terms of tracking progress and
trends, i.e.: psychosocial, educational records, medical records.
students who have a severe emotional disturbance and are moving to
Broward County from another school district within the State of Florida?
There is reciprocity between the Broward County School District and all
Florida school districts with regards to eligibility. Therefore, a
student who has a current IEP from another Florida school district
stating the student is eligible for severe emotional disturbance
educational the student can be enrolled directly into one of the school
district’s SED Centers.
What about students who are not referred by hospitals or residential
facilities or who are not coming from out of state, how do they receive
Parents or guardians of these students contact the student’s home
school's Guidance Counselor or ESE Specialist. They can provide all the
information about the process for determining SED eligibility and if
indicated, accessing SED services.
Where is a student placed while his case is waiting for a staffing at
an SED Center?
The student’s home school will provide educational services during this