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SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE 2010 SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program, NCLB Title X Presenter: Laverne Dunn December 16,

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Presentation on theme: "SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE 2010 SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program, NCLB Title X Presenter: Laverne Dunn December 16,"— Presentation transcript:

1 SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE 2010 SWASFAA FALL CONFERENCE Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program, NCLB Title X Presenter: Laverne Dunn December 16, 2010

2 STUDENT CENTERED, DATA DRIVEN PROGRAMS : District-wide leadership and supportive culture Effective Homeless Liaison Stay at the school of origin, or immediate enrollment Policies, procedures and forms Dispute resolution Training Transportation Outreach Cooperation and collaboration Willingness to listen and to change 2

3 Since determination of homeless status is not an exercise of professional judgment or a dependency override, it is a good practice for students to be able to contest determinations made by financial aid administrators. Unaccompanied homeless youth may also appeal a determination directly to the U.S. Department of Education

4 Over half of callers to Runaway Hotline report being physically abused at home; over one-third report sexual abuse; over two-thirds report that at least one of their parents abuses drugs or alcohol Other youth are thrown out because they are pregnant, gay or lesbian, or because their parents believe they are old enough to take care of themselves Some youth are abandoned, or are on their own due to death of parents Some youth are in homeless due to parental incarceration, illness, or hospitalization

5 Over half of youth living in shelters report that their parents either told them to leave, or knew they were leaving and did not care Natural disasters cause youth to be separated from family during their homelessness Many youth age out of foster care into homelessness; run away from foster care placements due to abuse in the foster home, or to reconnect with siblings and family

6 An estimated 1.6-1.7 million unaccompanied youth each year Public schools identified and enrolled over 956,914 homeless children/youth in 2008-2009 (includes children in intact families) – SEE LA This is a 41% increase over the past two years The increase for unaccompanied youth was even greater (69%) over the same period (data is from districts with federal subgrants only) Homelessness continues to increase due to economic downturn, housing crisis, etc

7 The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) include a definition of homelessness that matches the definition of homelessness in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which governs public schools The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) include a definition of homelessness that matches the definition of homelessness in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which governs public schools Identical definition is in the Child Nutrition Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Head Start Act, and the Violence Against Women Act Identical definition is in the Child Nutrition Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Head Start Act, and the Violence Against Women Act

8 Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence – –Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (82 % of students identified by public schools in 2009-2010) –Living motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations (2% of students identified by public schools in 2009-2010) –Living in emergency or transitional shelters (6% of students identified by public schools in 2009- 2010)

9 –Awaiting foster care placement (state and local interpretations vary) –Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live –Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, etc. –Migratory children living in above circumstances

10 Unaccompanied is defined as not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian Unaccompanied is defined as not living in the physical custody of a parent or guardian An unaccompanied homeless youth is therefore a youth who meets the legal definition of homelessness, and the legal definition of unaccompanied An unaccompanied homeless youth is therefore a youth who meets the legal definition of homelessness, and the legal definition of unaccompanied

11 Shelters are often full, turning youth away Shelters are often full, turning youth away There are no shelters in many suburban and rural areas There are no shelters in many suburban and rural areas Eligibility rules of shelters often exclude unaccompanied minors Eligibility rules of shelters often exclude unaccompanied minors Youth may fear adult shelters Youth may fear adult shelters Shelters often have 30, 60, or 90 day time limits Shelters often have 30, 60, or 90 day time limits Youth may be unaware of alternatives, fleeing in crisis, living in over-crowded, temporary, and sometimes unsafe environments Youth may be unaware of alternatives, fleeing in crisis, living in over-crowded, temporary, and sometimes unsafe environments

12 Higher rates of acute and chronic illness, depression and anxiety; experiences of trauma and loss Lack of support from any caring adult Unaccompanied youth are frequently victimized. As many as half have been assaulted or robbed; one in ten runaways reports being raped According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year from assault, illness, or suicide Perform lower on academic assessments, lower graduation rates

13 High mobility and frequent school changes Lack of a parent or guardian to sign forms Lack of school records and other paperwork Emotional crisis / mental health issues Employment - need to balance school and work Lack of transportation Lack of school supplies, clothing Fatigue, poor health, hunger Credit accrual policies, attendance policies Concerns about being captured by authorities Low expectations by family, school

14 High school counselors may be unaware of homeless definitions, and therefore not assist homeless youth on the FAFSA Youth may not know that they meet the definition of homeless, and therefore fill out the FAFSA incorrectly, or give up on college completely Students who never stayed in a shelter, and were not identified in high school, often do not know how to request a determination from the financial aid office Financial aid offices may lack of awareness of homeless definition and how to determine eligibility Lack of collaborative relationships between school districts, service providers, and financial aid offices

15 The definition of independent student now includes unaccompanied homeless youth Must be verified as unaccompanied and homeless during the school year when application is submitted. Verification must be made by: –a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison –a HUD homeless assistance program director or their designee –a Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee –a financial aid administrator.

16 every school district must designate a liaison for students in homeless situations Under the McKinney-Vento Act, every school district must designate a liaison for students in homeless situations Responsibilities: Responsibilities: Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations are identified through school and community Ensure that homeless students enroll in and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school Make referrals for health, mental health, and other services, and ensure that homeless children receive Head Start and preschool programs administered by school districts

17 2009-2010 (Application period - January 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010) Total Number of Applicants for Independent Status - 19,490,665 Total Number of Applicants who indicated a homeless circumstance - 47,204 As determined by school liaisons: 15,190 applicants -.08% As determined by HUD provider: 11,950 applicants -.06% As determined by RHYA provider: 20,064 applicants -.10%

18 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers funding for homeless shelters and services under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act. These funds are distributed to communities through a competitive grant process. For more information, see: http://www.hudhre.info

19 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs. These programs provide funding for Basic Centers, Transitional Living Programs, and Street Outreach Programs that serve runaway and other unaccompanied homeless youth. For more information, see: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb

20 According to the US Department of Educations Application and Verification Guide, if a student does not have, and cannot get, verification from a 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

21 Students who would be homeless but for living in a dormitory are to be considered homeless. Students fleeing an abusive parent and living in a homeless situation are to be considered homeless, even if their parents would provide a place to live. Unaccompanied homeless youth may use the school address as their own on the FAFSA

22 A documented phone call with, or a written statement from, liaisons or HUD or RHYA-funded shelter directors or designees, is sufficient verification. FAAs may accept verification from recognized third-parties such as other private or publicly funded homeless service providers, FAAs from another college, college access programs, college or high school counselors, mental health professionals, social workers, mentors, doctors, and clergy

23 There is no federally prescribed method of documenting unaccompanied homeless youth status, but the documentation must demonstrate that the student meets the legal definition of homelessness. FAAs should examine living situations and make determinations of homeless status on a case-by-case basis.

24 FAAs should make determinations of eligibility based on the legal definition of homelessness under the education subtitle of the McKinney- Vento Act. FAAs may make a determination of eligibility on the basis of a documented interview, if there is no written documentation available. FAAs are urged to use discretion and respect student privacy. Policy reports and Child Protective Services reports are not necessary

25 FAAs are not required to verify the answers to the homeless questions on the FAFSA, unless there is conflicting information. It is not conflicting information if an FAA disagrees with a determination made by a liaison or HUD or RHYA-funded shelter director or designee. The FAA should accept the determination, but contact relevant oversight organizations (like the state coordinator, in the case of a determinations made by a liaison).

26 FAAs may request assistance in making determinations of eligibility from local school district homeless liaisons, state homeless education coordinators, or the National Center for Homeless Education – 1-800-308-2145 – http://www.serve.org/nche Verification template at http://www.naehcy.orghttp://www.naehcy.org Loyola University – sample draft policy http://www.loyno.edu/financialaid/homeless- students http://www.loyno.edu/financialaid/homeless- students

27 For More Information: Laverne Dunn State Coordinator - Homeless Education Division of Student and School Learning Support Office of Federal Programs Support Louisiana Department of Education E-mail: Laverne.Dunn@la.gov Laverne.Dunn@la.gov 225-342-0153 Toll Free: 1-877-453-2721 Homeless Hotline: 1-800-259-8826 27


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