Special Needs

Program Description

Special Needs including but not limited to, mental, behavioral, emotional or physical disabilities can be primary drivers for many performance and behavior issues. Research shows that children living with Special Needs have fewer social connections and lower participation rates in both in-school and out-of-school activities than their peers without disabilities. Unfortunately, a lack of service availability continues to exist for both mental health services and programs for children living with identified disabilities/exceptionalities. Thus, Kids Hope Alliance supports and provides oversight for programs, services and activities designed to support and assist children and youth living with special needs and their families.

Mental Health

1-in-5 children experience a mental disorder in a given year. In addition, 19% of Duval middle and high-school students report an attempt at suicide, according to the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Currently, the Kids Hope Alliance designates funding for therapists in the Duval County Full Service School model as well as funding for Grief/Trauma Therapy through a local non-profit organization.

Identified Disabilities

In the area of programming for children living with moderate to severe disabilities, we see an  ongoing need for available programs and resources. KHA currently funds programs providing  extended care, screening and therapeutic services specializing in the needs of children living  with special needs.

At-Hope Families

Working with families helps parents build the skills they need to navigate the challenges of parenting right from the start, before negative behavior patterns develop that will have a detrimental impact on their child, causing problems later in life. We have served 1,259 at-hope families.

Trauma-Informed Care

The Kids Hope Alliance is committed to trauma sensitive care for Jacksonville’s children in order to create a culture of connectedness and safety that will promote more positive outcomes for children. KHA’s Trauma Training initiative is designed to encourage the implementation and training of high-quality strategies and tools to foster trauma training from a child-centered, family-focused, and community-based lens, for the caregivers working with children and youth in Jacksonville.

By the Numbers

98% of families had no verified instances of child abuse or neglect both during and one year after completing the Healthy Families Jacksonville program.

4,076 received assistance through mental health  programs

64 KHA-funded licensed therapists available through the DCPS Full-Service School Program

623 served with moderate to severe disabiities

For More Information

Contact the Director of Special Needs, Mary Nash, at mnash@coj.net or (904) 255-4451.