Working with Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tori

Report
Working with
Unaccompanied Homeless
Youth
Tori Weigant
West Chester University
WHY is it important for FAAs to have
a Policy and Procedure for working
with UHY students?
WE have the power to help:
A determination of being homeless is NOT a dependency
override or a case of professional judgment. Students
should understand that they are able to contest an
eligibility determination by a financial aid administrator.
FSA HB Jan 2013 AVG-119
WHY is it important for FAAs to have
a Policy and Procedure for working
with UHY students?
S.1754 - Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act:
Sen. Murray, Patty (D-WA); Sen. Landrieu, Mary (D-LA); Sen. Baldwin, Tammy (D-WI); Sen Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN).
Requires postsecondary schools participating in programs under title IV (Student
Assistance) of the HEA to:
•
•
•
•
•
designate a staff person as a single point of contact to assist homeless and foster
care youth in accessing and completing postsecondary education;
post public notice about the assistance available to those youth, including their
eligibility as independent students;
have a plan for how those youth can access housing resources during and between
academic terms; and
include questions in their admissions application regarding the applicant's status as
a homeless or foster care youth.
Requires institutions of higher education receiving grants for work-study programs
to prioritize employment for students who are currently or formerly homeless or
foster care youth.
Source: https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1754
WHY is it important for FAAs to have
a Policy and Procedure for working
with UHY students?
Sheldon Winnick
22,618
State Coordinator
Department of Education l
Bureau of Curriculum,
Assessment and Instruction
Phone: 717-772-2066
In 2012-13, a unique count of 22,618 children or youth were identified and
reported as experiencing homelessness and receiving direct or indirect services
from the ECYEH Program, of which 19,459 were also identified as enrolled in
school. (Source: Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program 2012-13 State
Evaluation Report Jan 2014)
WHY is it important for FAAs to have a
Policy and Procedure for working with
UHY students?
WHO qualifies to be considered an
unaccompanied homeless youth?
College Cost Reduction Act of 2007
CCRAA expanded the definition of
“independent student” to include UHY.
Verification not required
You are not required to verify the answers to the homeless youth questions unless
you have conflicting information. A documented phone call with, or a written
statement from, one of the relevant authorities is sufficient verification when
needed. FSA HB JAN 2013 AVG - 120
WHO qualifies to be considered an
unaccompanied homeless youth?
Homeless youth definitions
At risk of being homeless—when
a student’s housing may cease to be
fixed, regular, and adequate, for example,
a student who is being evicted and
has been unable to find fixed, regular,
and adequate housing.
Homeless—lacking fixed, regular, and
adequate housing.
Self-supporting—when a student pays
for his own living expenses, including
fixed, regular, and adequate housing.
Unaccompanied—when a student is
not living in the physical custody of a
parent or guardian.
Youth—a student who is 21 years
old or younger or still enrolled in high
school as of the date he signs the application.
FSA HB JAN 2013 AV- 120
WHO qualifies to be considered an
unaccompanied homeless youth?
Q: How does a youth indicate homelessness on the FAFSA?
A: The FAFSA contains three questions that ask specifically about homelessness.
Those questions are:
At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did your high school or school district homeless
liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of an emergency shelter or
transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was
homeless?
At any time on or after July 1, 2013, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth
basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an
unaccompanied youth
Challenge: What if a student didn’t tell high school or live in a shelter? They
will tend to answer “no” even though they do qualify.
HOW can we identify and determine a
student is an unaccompanied homeless
youth?
HOW can we identify and determine a
student is an unaccompanied
homeless youth?
WHAT is a SPOC and why do we
need one?
Single Point of Contact (SPOC)- a supportive college
administrator on each campus who is committed to helping
homeless youth (and often foster youth) successfully navigate
the college-going process on campuses. (Source: NASFAA 2014: Keys to
Success: Providing Services to Support Homeless Youth).
SPOCs can be found in the Financial Aid,
Counseling, Dean of Students, and Student
Support Services offices.
WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY
Case Study
• Constructed a policy and procedure for reviewing cases that do not
have supporting documentation
• Built separate section of our website: UHY webpage
• Designated Single Point of Contact (SPOC)
• Build Community Partnerships
• West Chester Food Cupboard
• Safe Harbor Shelter
• Organized Campus UHY Committee
• Residence Life
• Admissions
• Office of Multicultural Affairs
• Counseling Department
Where can I find more information and
helpful tools?
Cyekeia Lee
[email protected]
National Association for the Education of
Homeless Children and Youth
Christina Dukes
[email protected]
National Center for Homeless Education
Group
Discussion

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