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Immediate Enrollment Under McKinneyVento: Keeping Students Safe
“…Through it all, school is probably the only thing that has kept me
going. I know that every day that I walk in those doors, I can stop
thinking about my problems for the next six hours and concentrate on
what is most important to me. Without the support of my school system,
I would not be as well off as I am today. School keeps me motivated to
move on, and encourages me to find a better life for myself.”
Carrie Arnold, LeTendre Scholar, 2002
Our Agenda Today
• Schools can play a pivotal role in supporting the
safety of children and youth experiencing
homelessness, including runaway youth, youth
who have been put out of their homes, abducted
children and survivors of domestic violence.
• This presentation will give an overview of
homelessness, McKinney-Vento, and how we
can make our school district a safe place.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
2
Warm-Up Activity
• Work with your colleagues to complete a
monthly budget.
• Left side of the room: budget for a 2parent household with 2 school-aged
children and 1 preschooler
• Right side of the room: budget for a singleparent household with 2 school-aged
children
• Try to cut costs as much as possible, while
being realistic.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
3
Warm-Up Activity (cont.)
• What did you find?
• How would your hypothetical family
survive a serious illness, loss of job, car
trouble, or any unexpected bill?
• How could your hypothetical family save
money to buy a home or have a cushion
for unexpected expenses?
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
4
How many children and youth
experience homelessness?
• Over 1.35 million children nationally
• # enrolled in school in our state/district
(roughly X% (insert #) of all children and
youth in state/district)
• 10% of all children living in poverty
• Over 40% of all children
who are homeless are
under the age of 5
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
5
Causes of Homelessness
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Lack of affordable housing
Severe poverty
Health problems
Loss of job
Domestic violence
Natural and other disasters
Abuse/neglect (unaccompanied youth)
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
6
Unaccompanied Youth-Who Are They?
• Definition: a McKinney-Vento child or youth who
is not in the physical custody of a parent or
guardian
• Studies have found that 20-50% of
unaccompanied youth were sexually abused in
their homes; 40-60% were physically abused
• Only about half of homeless youth are
considered to have a chance of family
reconciliation
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
7
Unaccompanied Youth-Who Are They? (cont.)
• 20-40% of youth in homeless situations identify
as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender
(compared to 3-5% of adult population)
• Homeless youth are six times more likely to be
in foster care
• 25-40% of youth who emancipate from foster
care will end up homeless
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
8
McKinney-Vento
Homeless Assistance Act
• Reauthorized 2002 by NCLB (Title X, Part
C)
• Main themes:
• School stability
• School access
• Support for academic success
• Child-centered, best interest decision
making
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
9
Eligibility—
Who is Covered?
• Children who lack a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence—
• Sharing the housing of others due to
loss of housing, economic hardship, or
similar reason
• Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks,
camping grounds due to lack of
adequate alternative accommodations
• Living in emergency or transitional
shelters
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
10
Eligibility—
Who is Covered? (cont.)
• 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 similar settings
• Migratory children living in above
circumstances
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
11
Local Homeless
Education Liaisons
• Every LEA must designate a liaison for
students in homeless situations
• Responsibilities
• Ensure that children and youth in homeless
situations are identified and enrolled in school,
and have full opportunity to succeed in school
• Link with educational services, including
preschool and health services
• Inform parents, guardians and youth of education,
transportation and parent involvement
opportunities
• Post public notice of educational rights
• Resolve disputes
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
12
McKinney-Vento Act
Key Provisions
• Immediate enrollment without documents:
attending classes and participating fully in
school
• School stability: staying in the school of
origin for the duration of homelessness and
to end of year when permanently housed
• Transportation to the school of origin
• Eliminating barriers: to enrollment and
retention
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
13
McKinney-Vento Act
Key Provisions
• Unaccompanied youth: immediate enrollment
without legal guardian; liaison support
• Preschoolers: connect with Head Start and
other pre-K programs
• No discrimination: access to needed services
and integration
• Title I: automatic eligibility and reservation of
funds
• Dispute resolution: immediate enrollment;
written notice; referral to liaison
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
14
Safety Issues
• Survivors of domestic violence: 20% of
violent crime against women is committed by
an intimate partner
• Unaccompanied youth: many parents are
abusive, neglectful, or unable/unwilling to
parent their children
• Possibility of child abduction
• You can play a pivotal role in keeping children
and youth safe!
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
15
Safety Strategies-Enrollment
• Enroll children and youth experiencing
homelessness immediately, as required by the
McKinney-Vento Act. School is the safest place
for children who are in danger!
• Talk with parents, students and the previous
school about potential dangers, and develop a
safety plan together.
• Talk to runaway youth about their home situation
with care and sensitivity. Understand that youth
may hesitate to admit that home is an unhealthy
or dangerous environment for them.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
16
Safety Strategies-Support
• Refer unaccompanied youth and domestic
violence survivors to counseling
resources, including school counselors
and social workers.
• Provide a “safe place” and trained mentor at
school for unaccompanied youth to access as
needed.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
17
Safety Strategies-Privacy
• Never share any information about a student
with anyone who cannot prove they have the
legal right to receive it.
• Make everyone requesting any information
about a student complete and sign an
information request form, and maintain a record
of all requests.
• Always check the database and paper records to
see if there is a protective order or other
restriction to access to school records and
information.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
18
Safety Strategies-Get Help
• Transfer school records through the State
Coordinator’s Office if necessary to restrict
information about where a student has enrolled
in school.
• If you suspect a child has been abducted or
reported missing, contact the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children
(www.missingkids.com; 1-800-THE-LOST).
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
19
Group Activity
Mrs. Williams arrives at school to enroll her
daughter, Sandra. Mrs. Williams seems
nervous and refuses to answer some of
the enrollment questions. She says she
does not have a permanent address right
now. She also asks if the school has a
security guard. Sandra just sits quietly
with her mother.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
20
Group Activity
Would you enroll Sandra? How would you
handle the practicalities, like entering her
in the database and requesting records?
What questions might you ask Mrs. Williams
to learn about her situation and Sandra’s
needs?
To whom might you refer Sandra?
To whom might you refer Mrs. Williams?
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
21
Local Resources
Liaison Name and Contact Info
State Coordinator Name and Contact Info
Other local resources (helpful websites,
preschools, youth programs, shelters,
housing, medical clinics, nonprofits, etc.)
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
22
National Resources
National Association for the Education of
Homeless Children and Youth
http://www.naehcy.org
National Center on Homeless Education
http://www.serve.org/nche
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
http://www.nlchp.org
National Network for Youth
http://www.nn4youth.org
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
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If you take only
one thing with you…
Enroll children and youth
experiencing homelessness
immediately!
If you turn away a child or youth,
you may be sending them into a
dangerous situation and breaking
the law.
National Center for Homeless Education ● www.serve.org/nche
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