Eligible or Not?: Understanding the McKinney

Report
E LIGIBLE OR N OT ?:
U NDERSTANDING THE
M C K INNEY-V ENTO
D EFINITION OF
H OMELESS
Christina Endres
cendres@serve.org
Jan Moore
jmoore@serve.org
G ET
TO
K NOW NCHE
 The U.S. Department of Education’s technical
assistance and information center
 NCHE has:
 A comprehensive website: www.serve.org/nche
 A toll-free helpline: Call 800-308-2145 or e-mail
homeless@serve.org
 A listserv: visit www.serve.org/nche/listserv.php for
subscription instructions
 Free resources: Visit
www.serve.org/nche/products.php
S ESSION O UTLINE
 Definition: Understand who is homeless under
the McKinney-Vento Act
 Process: Discuss steps to obtain and analyze
necessary information
 Application: Practice what you learned with
example scenarios
Today’s foundation: NCHE’s Determining Eligibility for
Rights and Services Under the McKinney -Vento Act
www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/det_elig.pdf
L AYING THE G ROUNDWORK
 Eligibility is determined on case-by-case basis,
examining each student’s living arrangement
 Some instances are clear-cut
 Others require further inquiry and a judgment call
 If living arrangement does not meet all three
criteria in the definition, student is eligible.
 Common examples of homeless situations are
listed in the law
 Many other eligible situations are not listed
A DDRESSING D ISAGREEMENTS
 If parents/guardians or unaccompanied homeless
youth (UHY) disagree with school about eligibility,
schools follow the state’s dispute resolution
process which includes:
 A referral to the local liaison for assistance with the
appeal process
 Immediate enrollment in requested school
 The provision of all services to which McKinneyVento eligible students are entitled (e.g.
transportation, Title I services, free meals).
 Continued enrollment until the dispute is
resolved
T HE D EFINITION
Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence
 Shared housing due to loss of housing,
economic hardship, or a similar reason
 Motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping
grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate
accommodations
 Emergency or transitional shelters
 Awaiting foster care placement
T HE D EFINITION
 A public or private place not designed for or
ordinarily used as sleeping accommodation for
human beings
 Cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings,
substandard housing, bus or train stations, or
similar settings
 Migratory children living in the circumstances
described above
 Unaccompanied youth living in the
circumstances described above
F IXED , R EGULAR , AND A DEQUATE
Working definitions
 Fixed: Stationary, permanent, and not subject to
change
 Regular: Used on a predictable, routine, or
consistent basis (e.g. nightly); consider the relative
permanence of the living arrangement
 Adequate: Sufficient for meeting both the physical
and psychological needs typically met in home
environments
Can the student go to the SAME PLACE (fixed)
EVERY NIGHT (regular) to sleep in
a SAFE AND SUFFICIENT SPACE (adequate)?
T HE P ROCESS
S TEP 1: G ET THE FACTS
 Use a residency questionnaire for all students
 Sample questionnaires
www.serve.org/nche/forum/eligibility.php
 Don’t contact persons outside the school
system for information about living situations
(FERPA)
T HE P ROCESS
S TEP 1: G ET THE FACTS
 Discuss living arrangements in a private place,
with sensitivity and respect
 Avoid using the word “homeless”
 Can be stigmatizing
 May be eligible but not view selves as homeless
 Explain that you are asking questions to
determine potential eligibility for services
See NCHE’s Confirming Eligibility brief
www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/verif_ll.pdf
T HE P ROCESS
S TEP 2: A NALYZE THE FACTS
 Is the student’s living arrangement
 one of the examples mentioned in the law?
 another living arrangement that is not fixed,
regular, and adequate?
 Use questions in the Determining Eligibility
brief as a guide
www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/det_elig.pdf
T HE P ROCESS
S TEP 3: C ALL FOR B ACK - UP
 Contact your State Coordinator; visit
www.serve.org/nche/states/state_resources.php
for contact info
 Contact NCHE at 800-308-2145 or
homeless@serve.org
D OUBLED -U P
 “Sharing the housing of other persons due to
loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar
reason”
 Questions to determine eligibility:
 Is the living arrangement fixed, regular, and
adequate?
 Why did the parties move in together? Crisis or by
mutual choice as a plan for mutual benefit?
 How permanent is the living situation intended to
be?
 Where would the student live if not doubled up?
D OUBLED -U P
 Common questions
 Is there a limit on how long a doubled-up student
can be considered homeless?
 Are both doubled-up parties homeless?
Best practice: Revisit homeless situations prior to
the beginning of each school year
E LIGIBLE
OR
N OT ?
Mr. Garcia and his son, Jose, showed up at
your school at the beginning of the year to
enroll Jose. On the district’s housing
questionnaire, Mr. Garcia checked “yes” to
the question regarding sharing housing
and indicated they are living in the area
with his parents.
A WAITING F OSTER C ARE P LACEMENT
 Children awaiting foster care placement often
face the same residential and school mobility as
other homeless students
 US ED July 2004 Guidance (available at
www.ed.gov/programs/homeless/guidance.pdf)
 Awaiting foster care placement = homeless
 Already in foster care = not homeless
 Local liaisons should coordinate with local public
social service agencies to determine how to
support this population
A WAITING F OSTER C ARE P LACEMENT
( CONT.)
 Determine eligibility through the lens of lacking
a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
residence
 Some states have policies/laws regarding
students involved with foster care
 Contact your State Coordinator for more
information
H OMELESS AND U NACCOMPANIED
To receive MV services and rights as an
unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY), student
must be both:
 Homeless
 lacking fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime
residence
AND
 Unaccompanied
 not in physical custody of a parent or guardian
H OMELESS AND U NACCOMPANIED
( CONT.)
 No age limits in McKinney-Vento
 States set age criteria for public education
 Any youth within state age criteria limits can be
eligible
 Eligible students include those kicked out of their
homes and those who chose to leave
 Sometimes there is “more than meets the eye” for
youth’s home life situations
E LIGIBLE
OR
N OT ?
Janine is 19 and ran away from home.
Her mother won’t talk to her, but her
dad keeps in touch. She’s staying with
another family, where she’s not
allowed to see her boyfriend. Janine
really cares for her boyfriend, so she’s
thinking of going somewhere else to
stay (not home).
T HE S CHOOL’ S C HARGE
 Schools are fundamentally educational agencies
 Primary responsibility: enroll and educate, in
accordance with the federal McKinney-Vento Act;
federal law supersedes state and local law
 Balance student and school interests by making
referrals, and accessing school resources like
social workers and mediators
E LIGIBLE
OR
N OT ?
Lacey comes to your school to enroll
herself without an adult. She tells you that
she can’t get along with her stepdad and
had to leave home. Her mom calls the
school and says Lacey just wants to live
with her boyfriend.
S UBSTANDARD H OUSING
 No official federal definition
 Evaluate according to your community’s norms
 Common indicators






Does not meet local building code
Inoperable indoor plumbing
Nonworking, inadequate or unsafe electrical service
No working kitchen
Condemned by a government agency
Overcrowded: Does not meet occupancy
guidelines in local/state building codes
E LIGIBLE
OR
N OT ?
The Blairs own a home in your school
district where their daughter, Emily, is
enrolled. Emily told the school counselor
that the home’s heating system is broken
and her parents cannot afford to make the
repairs. The counselor thinks Emily may be
eligible for MV services.
F INAL Q UESTIONS ?
F OR MORE INFORMATION
State Coordinator for Homeless Education:
www.serve.org/nche/states/state_resources.php
NCHE website: www.serve.org/nche
NCHE Helpline: 800-308-2145 or
homeless@serve.org

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