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Working with Homeless Students National Center for Homeless Education Jan Moore www.serve.org/ncheWorking with Homeless Students.

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Presentation on theme: "Working with Homeless Students National Center for Homeless Education Jan Moore www.serve.org/ncheWorking with Homeless Students."— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with Homeless Students National Center for Homeless Education Jan Moore with Homeless Students

2 National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) Operates U.S. Department of Education’s homeless education technical assistance and information center NCHE provides – Comprehensive website: – Helpline: Call or – Free products and publications: Visit 2 with Homeless Students

3 McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless A homeless child or youth lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence: – Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (doubled-up) – Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations – Living in emergency or transitional shelters – Awaiting foster care placement – Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live – Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, etc. – Migratory children living in above circumstances – Unaccompanied youth who are living in the above circumstances 3 with Homeless Students

4 with Homeless Students Awaiting Foster Care No federal guidance on definition of the term States interpret in various ways – Some have policies to clarify when children and youth in child welfare custody are eligible for McKinney-Vento services – Some have state laws and policies that provide foster children and youth with rights similar to what McKinney-Vento provides homeless students 4

5 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth An unaccompanied homeless youth is 1)living in a situation that meets the McKinney- Vento definition of homeless 2)NOT in the physical custody of a parent or guardian (definition of “unaccompanied youth”) No age limit No citizenship requirement (Plyler v. Doe) 5 with Homeless Students

6 Paths to Being “On Your Own” Longstanding patterns of family conflict: blended family issues, sexual activity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, school problems, alcohol/drug use Parental incarceration or substance abuse Abused and/or neglected, but not taken into child welfare custody Foster care issues: running away from a placement; aging out of the system 6 with Homeless Students

7 McKinney-Vento Educational Rights Unaccompanied homeless youth and those awaiting a foster care placement have the same rights under the McKinney-Vento Act as other eligible children and youth – Immediate enrollment, even when lacking records – Attend either the school of origin, if feasible, or the local school – Receive transportation to the school of origin – Comparable services to those provided other students – Access to the dispute resolution process 7 with Homeless Students

8 McKinney-Vento and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Special provisions: – Don’t need a parent/guardian to enroll or have access to services – Local liaison must support the student in making education decisions and understanding MV rights – Same right to dispute resolution as parents/ guardians 8 with Homeless Students

9 Enrollment Strategies Three common methods for enrolling unaccompanied homeless youth – A caregiver enrolls (see sample enrollment form at pdf ) pdf – Local liaison enrolls – The UHY enrolls himself/herself Required signatures and decision-making for UHY usually follows the same pattern 9 with Homeless Students

10 Enrollment Reminders A school district cannot – require a caregiver to obtain legal guardianship – discontinue an UHY’s enrollment due to an inability to identify a caregiver, guardian, or parent following enrollment – disenroll because of inability to produce guardianship or other paperwork 10 with Homeless Students

11 with Homeless Students Applying for College Financial Aid College Cost Reduction and Access Act – Uses McKinney-Vento definition of homeless – Independent student includes: Unaccompanied homeless youth Youth in foster care after age 13 Emancipated minors and those in legal guardianships determined by a court – Can apply for federal aid without parental information or signature – Must be verified as unaccompanied and homeless or as unaccompanied, at risk of homelessness, and self-supporting 11

12 with Homeless Students Independent Student Status for FAFSA Can be verified by – McKinney-Vento School District Liaison – Director or designee of a HUD-funded program – Director or designee of a RHYA-funded program – Financial aid administrator 12

13 with Homeless Students Citizenship and financial aid Only U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens can receive federal student financial aid Noncitizens may be eligible for state, private, or institutional aid and should complete the FAFSA to apply for that aid Federal Student Aid Handbook – discussion of citizenship issues handbook&awardyear=

14 with Homeless Students NCHE Resources Child Welfare/Foster Care page Unaccompanied youth page Access to Higher Education page 14

15 with Homeless Students Contact Information Jan Moore National Center for Homeless Education

16 Washington State Overview Homeless Children and Youth Foster Care Summit November, 2011 Washington, D.C.

17 Washington State Data Trends : 8, : 12, : 13, : 16, : 18, : 20, : 21,826

18 Washington State Data, cont. Between and Districts reported an increase in homeless students 103 Districts reported a decrease in homeless students 53 Districts reported no change In , 50 districts reported “zero” homeless students; a decrease from , when 56 districts reported “zero” homeless students

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20 McKinney-Vento Grants Currently, Washington receives $862,249 Provides competitive grants to 23 sites Of 295 districts, 245 reported homeless students enrolled in

21 Challenges “Awaiting” foster care placement Lack of transportation funding State level data collection changes Reaching every district liaison for training and technical assistance (geography)

22 Successes Increased collaboration with Children’s Administration Amazing support from State Director for Pupil Transportation. All districts transportation staff receive comprehensive McKinney-Vento training. Overwhelming participation from most school districts in training and technical assistance Program staff provided on-site TA to 68 individual districts last year, and over 500 people attended our (large group) annual liaison training sessions

23 For more information… Melinda Dyer, Program Supervisor Education of Homeless Children and Youth Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction


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