Presentation on theme: "Diana Bowman 336-315-7453 336-315-7453 Jan Moore 336-315-7403."— Presentation transcript:
Diana Bowman firstname.lastname@example.org 336-315-7453 336-315-7453 Jan Moore email@example.com 336-315-7403
The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) operates the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance and information center in the area of homeless education; www.serve.org/nchewww.serve.org/nche The NC Higher Education Collaborative on Homeless Youth (HECHY) is working to smooth the transition to college for unaccompanied homeless students.
What is the McKinney-Vento Act? Who are unaccompanied homeless youth? Unaccompanied homeless youth and the FAFSA College support networks and initiatives Resources
NCHE higher education brief http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/higher_ed.pdf http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/higher_ed.pdf Making Student Status Determinations for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: Tool for Financial Aid Administrators http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/faa_det_tool.pdf http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/faa_det_tool.pdf McKinney-Vento Act and Policy Guidance http://center.serve.org/nche/m-v.php http://center.serve.org/nche/m-v.php Application and Verification Guide (AVG) http://center.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php http://center.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php
Title X, Part C of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Applies to K-12 public schools Key themes Support for school access and success School stability Child-centered, best interest decisionmaking M-V
Local liaison in every school district http://center.serve.org/hepnc/nc_pol.php#local http://center.serve.org/hepnc/nc_pol.php#local State Coordinator in every state Focuses on K-12, but includes Preschool Transition to college, especially with CCRAA State Coordinator in NC – Lisa Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org 800-659-3204
Children or youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including: Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (“doubling up”) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to the 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, or a similar setting Migratory children living in the above circumstances Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances
Fixed: Stationary, permanent, and not subject to change Regular: Used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis (e.g. nightly); consider the relative permanence Adequate: Sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments Consider relative permanence of living arrangement Can the student go to the SAME PLACE (fixed) EVERY NIGHT (regular) to sleep in a SAFE AND SUFFICIENT SPACE (adequate)?
Shelters are often full, turning youth away No shelters in many suburban and rural areas Eligibility rules of shelters often exclude unaccompanied minors Youth may fear adult shelters Shelters often have short stay limits Youth may be unaware of alternatives, fleeing in crisis, living in overcrowded, temporary, and sometimes unsafe situations Shelters often are a last resort
McKinney-Vento defines doubled- up as “sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason”
Considerations: Did the student lose his/her housing? Is the student experiencing economic hardship resulting in inability to access stable housing? How permanent is the living arrangement intended to be? Where would the student be if not doubled up? Is the living arrangement fixed, regular, and adequate?
2-step process 1) Does the student’s living arrangement meet the McKinney-Vento Act’s definition of homeless? 2) Once homelessness is determined, is the student unaccompanied? Unaccompanied = “not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian”; in practical terms, this means the youth does not live with the parent or guardian
Lack of financial means to live independently and safely Inability to be financially self-sufficient once enrolled in college Limited housing options, especially in small towns or rural areas Struggling to balance school and other responsibilities Failure to access available support systems Lack of adult guidance and support Lack of access to parental financial information and support
Longstanding patterns of family conflict: blended family issues, pregnancy, sexual activity or orientation, school problems, alcohol/drug use Abuse and/or neglect within the home Parental incarceration, substance abuse, illness, hospitalization, or death
Foster care issues: running away from a foster care placement, aging out of the foster care system; significant correlation between involvement with the child welfare system and experiencing homelessness as an adult Some students become homeless with their families, but end up on their own due to lack of space in temporary accommodations or shelter policies that prohibit adolescent males
A youth can be eligible regardless of whether he/she was asked to leave the home or “chose” to leave Sometimes there is “more than meets the eye” for a youth’s home life situation Institutions of higher education do not need to understand and/or agree with all aspects of a student’s home life to educate him/her and comply with federal educational mandates
Sarah was kicked out of her house after graduating high school. She’d had problems getting along with her stepdad for some time and the level of conflict had gotten out of control. She went to live with her friend, Kim, but Kim’s parents said Sarah can only stay there until the end of the summer, when Kim leaves for college. Sarah is no longer in contact with her mom and stepdad. According to McKinney-Vento, is Sarah an unaccompanied homeless youth? Other questions?
College Cost Reduction and Access Act Independent student status on the FAFSA for unaccompanied homeless youth and self- supporting youth at risk of homelessness Can apply for aid without parental signature or consideration of parental income Must be determined by: ▪ Local liaison ▪ RHYA-funded shelter director or designee ▪ HUD-funded shelter director or designee ▪ College Financial Aid Administrator
CCRAA uses the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless; also includes a student living in the dorms if he/she would otherwise be homeless At risk of homelessness: “when a student’s housing may cease to be fixed, regular, and adequate” Includes a homeless student fleeing an abusive parent, even if the parent would provide housing and support
Local Liaisons for Homeless Education http://center.serve.org/hepnc/nc_pol.php#local http://center.serve.org/hepnc/nc_pol.php#local State Coordinator for Homeless Education HUD = U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development RHYA = Runaway and Homeless Youth Act 411
FAA = Financial Aid Administrator According to the Application and Verification Guide, if a student does not have, and cannot get, documentation from a Local Liaison, RHYA provider, or HUD provider, a financial aid administrator must make a determination of homeless/unaccompanied status This is not an exercise of professional judgment or a dependency override for youth 21 and younger; this is determining the independent student status of an unaccompanied homeless youth
Updated AVG released in Spring 2012 Borrows language from NCHE’s Determining Eligibility brief Student can use the college’s administrative address as his/her mailing address UHY may be 21 or younger or still enrolled in high school when FAFSA is signed Students who don’t meet the definition of youth because they are older than 21 (and not yet 24) and who are unaccompanied and homeless or self supporting and at risk of being homeless qualify for a dependency override 24 or older - automatic independent status
Provides guidance on verification by FAAs Verification is not required unless there is conflicting information Permits a FAA to verify the status with a documented interview Encourages discretion and sensitivity when gathering information ▪ Some information may be confidential (e.g. protected by doctor-patient privilege) ▪ Child welfare reports are not necessary Recommends consulting with local liaisons, State Coordinators, NCHE, school counselors, clergy, etc. Students may appeal eligibility determinations to the U.S. Department of Education
Samuel had to leave home the summer before his senior year in high school, when his mom was incarcerated. Samuel’s father has never been a part of his life and, in fact, he doesn’t know where he is or if he’s even still alive. Samuel has been staying with different relatives and friends since then, but none has been willing to assume legal guardianship or provide financial support. He’s now starting to apply for colleges and is concerned about having enough money to attend. According to McKinney-Vento, is Samuel an unaccompanied homeless youth? Other questions?
Post information publicly in strategic locations throughout campus Create awareness of the issue among faculty and staff, particularly those working in the area of financial aid, student services, and other support services Awareness resources NCHE higher education brief http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/higher_ed.pdf http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/higher_ed.pdf NCHE/NASFAA awareness poster http://center.serve.org/nche/pr/he_poster.php http://center.serve.org/nche/pr/he_poster.php
Consult the AVG Become familiar with the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless and apply it case-by-case to students’ circumstances Consult with school district local liaisons, State Coordinators for homeless education, or NCHE Be reasonable and sensitive when requesting information from students
Refer unaccompanied students to campus and community support services upon admission Establish coordination between financial aid offices, student support services, and campus housing Establish a food and clothing bank on campus Plan housing for homeless students when dormitories close; ideas include leaving one residence hall open or establishing a list of “host homes” in the community Establish a mentoring program for unaccompanied homeless youth
Convene a meeting with local stakeholders from the McKinney-Vento K-12 and Higher Education communities Share knowledge about your area of expertise Higher education: Financial aid Local liaisons: McKinney-Vento definition and community resources for homelessness Build an action plan for serving UHY that makes sense for your community Examples of state networks: CO, MI, NC
Includes representatives from the National Center for Homeless Education, NC Homeless Education Program, NC public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, public schools, NC State Education Assistance Agency, and others Higher ed and homeless ed members are providing joint training and presentations Single Point of Contact (SPOC) initiative. Working through NCSEAA to establish a SPOC for homeless students on every NC campus
National Center for Homeless Education Higher Education page: http://center.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php http://center.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php NCHE helpline: 800-308-2145 or email@example.com@serve.org NC Homeless Education Program http://center.serve.org/hepnc/ Higher Education page coming soon National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Higher Education page: http://www.naehcy.org/higher_ed.html http://www.naehcy.org/higher_ed.html