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Community Connections for Homeless Children Kara A. Capone, MA, MPH Director of Programs New Haven Home Recovery, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Connections for Homeless Children Kara A. Capone, MA, MPH Director of Programs New Haven Home Recovery, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Connections for Homeless Children Kara A. Capone, MA, MPH Director of Programs New Haven Home Recovery, Inc.

2 Shelter Options in New Haven, CT 4 Family Shelter options –CCA –(2 sites) = 17 families (DSS) –NHHR (2 sites) = 13 women & children (DSS & City) –Life Haven = 20 women & children (DSS & City) –Domestic Violence – 6 women & children (DSS)

3 Homeless Kids in New Haven & CT In the past two years, NH shelters (excluding DV) sheltered 658 children. 55% were 0-5 years old. NHHR has over 1,700 requests for shelter, only 16% could be accommodated There are an est. 13,000 homeless children statewide 40% of all people who are homeless are children

4 McKinney-Vento Overview McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Originally authorized in 1987 Reauthorized in January 2002 as Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) The primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in U.S. public schools.

5 McKinney-Vento Overview (Cont.) Provides stability, access and support for academic success for homeless children and youth, including preschool- aged children To qualify for these rights, children and youth must be considered homeless according to the McKinney-Vento definition of homelessness.

6 Homeless Definition Homeless children and youth are minors who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. It includes children and youth who: are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement

7 Homeless Definition (Cont.) have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and migrant children and youth who qualify as homeless

8 Homeless Definition (Cont.) Subgroups: Children and Youth in Homeless Families Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (runaway, abandoned, and/or unsupervised youth) Under the McKinney-Vento Act, an individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate residence is considered homeless. Fixed residence: one that is stationary, permanent and not subject to change. Regular residence: one that is used on a regular (i.e., nightly) basis. Adequate residence: one which is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments.

9 School Involvement Every LEA (Local Educational Agency) must designate a local homeless education liaison Responsibilities: –Identify homeless children and youth –Ensure that homeless students enroll in and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school –Post public notice of educational rights –Coordinate and collaborate with agencies –Arrange services and transportation –Resolve disputes

10 Educational Rights Children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to: Go to school Continue in the school they last attended before becoming homeless Receive transportation to the school they last attended

11 Educational Rights (Cont.) Attending a school and participate in school programs with children who are not homeless. Enroll without giving a permanent address. Enroll and attend classes without immunization records or any other required documents Receive the same special programs and services, as provided to all other children Receive transportation to school and to school programs

12 The Children’s Education Partnership NHHR, Head Start, Diaper Bank and DSS got together to discuss the problem Convened interested stakeholders TA from from Regional Head Start Put together a plan to address the school readiness needs of homeless children age 0-5 years.

13 Partnership Goal: Develop strong collaboration between agencies including Memo’s of Understanding –Create collaborative steering committee consisting of a representative from each organization to meet quarterly –Work with stakeholders to ensure a coordinated system of care. Issue a quarterly newsletter on progress –Create and sign MOU’s between agencies

14 Education Goal: Universal understanding of McKinney-Vento and ability to use information effectively –Education of sheltered parents –Education of shelter staff –Education of local school staff

15 Identification & Enrollment Goal: Increase the number of homeless children identified as eligible for and enrolled in early childhood education –Staff ID children eligible –Applications completed and submitted –Children enrolled in school

16 Identification & Enrollment (Cont.) Goal: All children who are homeless will be enrolled in a quality education program –DSS collaboration with Head Start –Outreach agencies –Establish point people at agencies –Outreach other services providers: mental health, substance abuse. –Identify barriers to enrollment

17 Advocacy Goal: Homeless children will be better served by the school system through advocacy –Participation of staff in IEPs and other educational meetings –Facilitate communication with teachers, social workers and other school personnel

18 Outreach Locally: School Readiness Council, Board of Alderman-Human Services, Policy Council, City Health Dept-Manos, DPH School of Health Services, Head Start School Advisory, BOE School Based Health Clinics, New Haven Continuum, Voices for Children

19 Outreach Statewide: Commission on Children, Daycare Council, School Readiness, Department of Social Services, Department of Children and Families, Department of Education, Department of Public Health, legislators and elected / appointed officials

20 Resources National Center for Homeless Education National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 No Child Left Behind Title X, Part C

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