This second "Pathways to Partnership" series is designed to help LEA homeless liaisons and homeless service providers to 1) gain a basic understanding of some important higher education programs, including those programs that have specific requirements on homelessness; and 2) create and sustain higher education partnerships. Connecting youth and young adults who experience homelessness with the appropriate resources will help pave a smoother transition to and through postsecondary education.
On Wednesday, April 25, the U.S. Department of Education published its application for State educational agencies (SEAs) to apply for $25 million in supplemental McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) funding for students displaced by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017. The deadline for SEAs to submit their applications is May 25, 2018.
This new document series, Deeper Dives for Schools, is created in partnership with David Douglas School District in Oregon. It is designed to provide school and district staff with practical strategies to serve young children experiencing homelessness. Each one-page tip sheet shares strategies on a different aspect of access.
School counseling staff provide important support to students experiencing homelessness. The Every Student Succeeds Act recognized this role by adding requirements that counselors advise students experiencing homelessness and improve their readiness for college. SchoolHouse Connection’s new quick guide, written by a school counselor, provides practical tips and strategies for supporting students experiencing homelessness, helping meet their basic needs, and planning for graduation.
Quality early childhood programs can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and help families experiencing homelessness regain stability. Local educational agency (LEA) McKinney-Vento liaisons and homeless service providers funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are required by law to connect families experiencing homelessness to early childhood programs. The first in a new SHC series, this guide is designed to help LEA liaisons and homeless service providers develop a basic understanding of, and build partnerships with, five key early childhood programs.
Many housing and homeless service systems and programs are ill-equipped to provide the resources and support that infants, young children, and school-aged children and their families need. This tool is designed to help housing and homeless service providers make their spaces safe for children, to help promote their health and well-being.
Students in foster care move frequently. They move when they are first brought into care, and caseworkers may change children’s placements multiple times over their time in care. However, students in foster care should not have to change schools every time their foster placement is changed. This two-page brief reviews requirements for child welfare agencies and educational agencies; provides considerations in developing foster care transportation procedures; and includes links to sample transportation guidelines and procedures.
The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) places great emphasis on high school graduation for students experiencing homelessness. This document summarizes state laws that complement these federal requirements.
Designating school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts can be a highly effective best practice for identifying children and youth who are experiencing homelessness, and ensuring full implementation of the McKinney-Vento Act. However, sometimes roles can become muddled. These guidelines were created in response to a request from a State McKinney-Vento Coordinator who confronted challenges clarifying lines of authority and responsibility in school districts that designate school building-level McKinney-Vento contacts (in addition to the required designation of the school district McKinney-Vento liaison). The guidelines are designed to share the relevant laws. and provide a procedure to help maintain clear roles and responsibilities.
Another ESSA amendment to the McKinney-Vento Act requires school district liaisons to inform unaccompanied homeless youth of their status as independent students for financial aid (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA) and help them obtain verification of that status. To help implement this policy, we’ve prepared a sample form letter to determine the independent student status of unaccompanied homeless youth for the 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Microsoft Word).
Research shows the importance of participation in activity programs in increasing high school graduation and later success in life, particularly for disadvantaged students. Yet homelessness creates significant barriers to participation in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. Fortunately, the ESSA amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act include new policies to remove barriers to participation in extra-curricular activities.
This two-page fact sheet summarizes existing data on young children who are homeless and their families, including the impact of homelessness on health, development, early learning, and well-being.
Several state legislatures have recognized that unaccompanied homeless youth under age 18 need legal rights to access housing, shelter and other basic services. Current and Pending State Laws Allowing Unaccompanied Homeless Youth to Consent for Housing and Related Services is a new document that summarizes state laws.
State legislatures have been actively supporting college students experiencing homelessness over the past few years. State Laws Supporting College Students Experiencing Homelessness provides a summary of existing strong state laws.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published final regulations to implement the Child Care and Development Fund program (CCDF) in September 2016. Here is an explanation and summary of the final Child Care and Development Fund regulations on homelessness.
Head Start provides comprehensive early childhood services for families with youth children. The Head Start Program Performance Standards, updated in September 2016, include many new rules on serving children and families experiencing homelessness.
Federal rules on immigrant youth and families are changing rapidly. Our regularly updated brief provides basic information about eligibility for education services, and practical suggestions for schools.
The McKinney-Vento Act as amended by ESSA requires school district liaisons to ensure that public notice of educational rights is disseminated in “locations frequented by parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth,” in a “manner and form understandable to them.” Today, many families and youth get information from the internet. This makes it important for school district websites to contain information about the McKinney-Vento Act. Is your school district’s website a McKinney-Vento tool? We’ve created a simple guide to help.
The new requirement for local educational agency (LEA) liaisons to be “able to carry out” ten specific duties in the law has the potential to have the greatest impact on children and youth who are experiencing homelessness. We developed a simple tool to help LEAs quickly identify and prioritize areas where greater capacity is needed to carry out the law.
SHC is proud to partner with Sesame Workshop on a new initiative to help children cope with traumatic experiences. The Sesame trauma initiative features new, bilingual content that presents coping strategies to help children feel safe and become more resilient in a range of situations, and gives adults the tools they need to foster nurturing connections. The initiative also includes professional development resources and simple strategies for parents and community providers.
On October 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education made the 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available. Here are five things you need to know about youth experiencing homelessness and the new FAFSA.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) amended the McKinney-Vento Act in several important ways to increase access to preschool programs. This resource contains frequent questions and answers about preschool and homelessness, and links to resources to help implement the new policies.
Schools can be a place of stability, normalcy, and support for children and youth who are displaced by disasters. Liaisons also may be able to connect younger siblings with early childhood resources to provide safety, stability and a place to be a child as parents seek to rebuild. A new brief from SchoolHouse Connection summarizes five key policies and provides quick tips for their implementation.
SchoolHouse Connection’s “Making the Case” series will share real students’ situations and walk through making the legal case for providing the support the student needs.
Did you know that the age at which a person is most likely to be in a homeless shelter in the United States is infancy? Learn about three new resources for helping young children experiencing homelessness.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) created important new requirements and opportunities for serving children and youth experiencing homelessness through Title I Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA amendments to Title I Part A go into effect in the 2017-2018 school year. Learn what's new, including a sample needs assessment and new summaries.
Baseball’s spring training may be wrapping up, but schools’ spring trainings are just getting underway. With that in mind, we are pleased to share our new ESSA PowerPoint template. All are welcome to download, edit and use this template, which includes the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, new research, a pop quiz, an interactive exercise, sound clips from youth, and new resources.
On March 15, Wisconsin HOPE Lab released the results of a national study on hunger and homelessness among community college students. The study, Hungry and Homeless in College: Results of a Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education, found that one-third of community college students are hungry and 14 percent are homeless.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report entitled “Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness.” The study collected data from families at the time they were in emergency shelters, followed the families over the next 20 months, and then surveyed them again, collecting information about the family, the parents, and up to two focal children in each family.
On March 13, the Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness (ICPH) released "More Than a Place to Sleep: Understanding the Health and Well-Being of Homeless High School Students." The study demonstrates that teens who experience homelessness have unequivocally worse health outcomes than housed teens – outcomes that threaten their lives and jeopardize their ability to finish school and transition to a stable adulthood.
This SchoolHouse Connection report is based on newly available U.S. Department of Education (ED) data from the 2015-2016 Application Cycle of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The data demonstrate the on-going problems young people experiencing homelessness face in accessing financial aid, and therefore higher education.
Families needing child care are as different as children themselves. Child care programs never know which families will arrive at the door, but rest assured they all have two things in common: parents want what’s best for their children and every family has strengths. Idaho's new training for child care programs helps participants identify concrete strategies for promoting protective factors in families experiencing homelessness.