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Homeless & Foster Youth
What is Mckinney-Vento?
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
- The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
- Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
Does every school district have to have a liaison?
- Yes. The McKinney‐Vento Act requires every local educational agency to “designate an appropriate staff person” to serve as liaison. For Mountain Empire USD the Homeless / Foster Youth Liaison is Bill Dennett. Bill can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 619-473-8869.
What are a district's responsibilities for advising families about their rights if families do not identify or consider themselves as homeless?
- Families and youth in homeless situations frequently will not identify themselves as such. Therefore, schools must ensure that families and youth are aware of the Act, who it covers, and what it provides. The Act requires school districts to disseminate public notice of the education rights of children and youth in homeless situations where such children and youth receive services, such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens. Identification and outreach techniques must be administered sensitively and without stigma, to create an environment in which families, children and youth will be comfortable seeking support. Once a school has sensitively and discretely explained the rights available under the McKinney‐Vento Act, families or youth may choose not to take advantage of McKinney‐Vento services, at their discretion.
What does a family have to do to receive services?
- A family who is eligible must fill out a Housing-Questionnaire. Once they have completely filled out the form, the school staff must immediately email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the form has been emailed, please send the original to Bill Dennett in Student Services.
What rights do homeless students have?
- Enroll and Enrollment includes – right to attend classes and participate fully in school activities (without records/shot records) School of Origin – school that child or youth attended when permanently housed or last enrolled
- Comparable Services – services offered to other students in the school selected
- Transportation Services
- School Bus
- Coordination with other districts – Shared transportation
- Educational Services
- Meals through school nutrition programs
- School Supplies
- 6th Grade Camp