State Advocacy Tools

State Advocacy Training Webinars

Episodes 1 and 2 of our State Advocacy Training Webinar Series are now available for viewing. Episode 1 provides an overview of our state advocacy methodology and includes sample policy surveys for young people and advocates, a sample agenda for a State Advocacy Institute, and sample activities to engage stakeholders and young people in policy advocacy. Episode 2 is an advocacy “how-to” guide, sharing tools and skills for state and federal policy advocacy, including a sample policy agenda and sample policy brief. We hope these tools will encourage new advocates to get involved with state and federal policy, and provide seasoned advocates with new resources. We will announce Episode 3 early in 2019.

Guide to State Laws to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness

An important step in policy advocacy is knowing what legislation already exists on an issue. “State Laws to Support Youth Experiencing Homelessness” provides state-specific information and model statutes on four categories of state laws:

  1. Laws allowing unaccompanied homeless minors to consent for housing and shelter services;
  2. Laws empowering unaccompanied minors to consent for routine medical care;
  3. Laws that mitigate the effects of mobility to help students experiencing homelessness graduate from high school; and
  4. Laws supporting students experiencing homelessness in higher education.
Progress Updates
  • November 19, 2018 – First State Bills for 2019 Introduced, with More on the Way
    • Although state legislatures will not begin considering new legislation until early next year, SchoolHouse Connection and our state policy partners have been working feverishly for months to prepare. Last week, our first bill was introduced: a higher education bill in the Texas state legislature. Proposals in other states will tackle higher education, vital documents, minor consent, credit accrual, child care, employment, and transportation.
State Law Briefs
  • State Laws on Minor Consent for Routine Medical Care
    • This document includes states with laws allowing minors, including unaccompanied homeless minors, to consent for routine health care. It does not address state laws that empower minors to consent for substance abuse treatment, mental health care, treatment for contagious diseases or reproductive health.
  • State Laws on Minor Consent for Housing and Related Services
    • Several state legislatures have recognized that unaccompanied homeless youth under age 18 need legal rights to access housing, shelter and other basic services. This document summarizes state laws, including recently enacted legislation in Wyoming, and a currently pending bill that SchoolHouse Connection is working on with partners in Arizona.
  • State Laws on High School Graduation for Students Experiencing Homelessness
    • 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. 
  • State Laws Supporting College Students Experiencing Homelessness
    • State legislatures have been actively supporting college students experiencing homelessness over the past few years. This document provides a summary of existing strong state laws. SchoolHouse Connection is working with partners in Texas on a new state law to support the thousands of Texas students striving to complete college without safe, stable housing.

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