The McKinney-Vento Act and Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness: A Primer for Service Providers

The McKinney-Vento Act and Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness: A Primer for Service Providers PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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2. Homelessness in the U.S. and Colorado. 1.35 million children10% of all children living in poverty are homelessIn the 2007-08 school year, CO school districts identified 12,302 homeless children and youthApproximately 1,500 unaccompanied homeless youth are ?couch surfing," living on the streets, or in emergency shelters in Colorado each night.

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The McKinney-Vento Act and Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness: A Primer for Service Providers

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1. The McKinney-Vento Act and Unaccompanied Youth Experiencing Homelessness: A Primer for Service Providers Dana Scott Colorado Department of Education [email protected] 303-866-6930 Misti Ruthven CollegeInvest [email protected] Phone: 303-324-7950

2. 2 Homelessness in the U.S. and Colorado 1.35 million children 10% of all children living in poverty are homeless In the 2007-08 school year, CO school districts identified 12,302 homeless children and youth Approximately 1,500 unaccompanied homeless youth are “couch surfing,” living on the streets, or in emergency shelters in Colorado each night

3. 3 Barriers to Education for Children & Youth in Homeless Situations High mobility Enrollment requirements (school records, immunizations, proof of residence and guardianship) Lack of transportation Lack of access to programs Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc. Poor health, fatigue, hunger Prejudice and misunderstanding

4. 4 McKinney-Vento/ Title X, Part C of NCLB Reauthorized in 2002 as Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind Mandated that state and local educational agencies change policies and practices that create barriers to the access and success of homeless children and youth in public schools

5. 5 McKinney Vento Overview Main themes: School stability School access Support for academic success Child-centered, best interest decision making

6. 6 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 Abandoned in hospitals

7. 7 Awaiting foster care placement Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, etc. Migratory children living in above circumstances Homeless youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian (unaccompanied youth) Eligibility— Who is Covered? (cont.)

8. 8 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people who lack safe, stable housing and who are not in the care of a parent or guardian They live in a variety of temporary situations, including shelters, the homes of friends or relatives, cars, campgrounds, public parks, abandoned buildings, motels, and bus or train stations

9. 9 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth By law, Districts must: Appoint a homeless education liaison Assist in school enrollment and placement decisions Ensure youth are enrolled immediately and are fully participating in school Facilitate dispute resolution process, if needed Connect youth with school and community resources Review and revise McKinney district policies to include unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness

10. 10 What About College? Can Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Apply for Federal Financial Aid? Yes, with assistance from advocates Federal aid is critical Financial info and parent signatures on the FAFSA are barriers Many youth do not know how to fill out the form or cannot supply needed information

11. 11 What About College? Can Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Apply for Federal Financial Aid? It is critical for financial aid administrators, scholarship programs, homeless education liaisons in K-12, counselors and service providers to work together

12. 12 College Cost Reduction and Access Act In September of 2007, President Bush signed into law the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 Included within this legislation are amendments to expand the definition of independent student in FAFSA to include: (1) unaccompanied homeless youth; (2) youth who are in foster care at any time after the age of 13 or older, and; (3) youth who are emancipated minors or are in legal guardianships as determined by an appropriate court in the individual's state of residence.

13. Start with FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Available every January 1– apply early! Some Financial Aid is awarded on a first come first serve basis The earlier a student applies, the more financial aid they may receive Must file every year Will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email and snail mail 13

14. How to Submit the FAFSA Online application is fastest Processed in 72 hours Student and one parent need to get Personal Identification Numbers to sign application electronically Parent and Student Information required: Social security numbers, drivers license numbers Records of money earned last year, tax returns and bank statements, etc. Complete FAFSA online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov 1-800-4FEDAID paper applications BEWARE of any service that requires you to pay a fee to submit your FREE application 14

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20. 20 College Cost Reduction Act The law helps to remove barriers to accessing financial aid for unaccompanied youth in the year in which they experienced homelessness And in subsequent years, provided they are still unaccompanied, self-supporting, and at risk of homelessness

21. College Cost Reduction Act Verification for homeless unaccompanied youth must be made by one of the following: a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development homeless assistance program director or their designee a Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee, or; a financial aid administrator 21

22. Opportunity for Partnership CDE and CollegeInvest Convene Task Force Stakeholders Best Practices Liaison Training Higher Education Financial Aid Admissions Student Services Faculty

23. Task Force on Higher Ed for UHY 3 Meetings Established expectations and acknowledged barriers Discussed impact to higher education Identified goals Stakeholders Higher Ed Pre-Collegiates Service Providers K-12 McKinney-Vento State Agencies

24. Task Force Goals Identify and create process standards between all parties including colleges/universities, high school and McKinney Vento liaisons Develop best practices in transitioning homeless students into higher education Identify a SAFE, single point of contact at each college/university to interface with students. Create a tip sheet in working with unaccompanied homeless youth

25. Barriers Documents Address Computer access Forms Campus resources Communication Diploma, GED or ability to benefit Street names Privacy Laws

26. Recommendation #1 Identify a safe, single point of contact at each college/university to serve homeless unaccompanied youth. Add contact info on college/university printed materials and websites 3-pronged approach Network Streamline verification

27. Recommendation #2 Develop a streamlined process to other services within college/university

28. Recommendation #3 Centrally store personal documentation for homeless, unaccompanied youth through confidential, state-supported web site accessible by the youth over their lifetimes.

29. Recommendation #4 Single form for unaccompanied, homeless youth verification within same school year for use by all stakeholders Streamline form Form sharing Electronic forms Documentation expectations

30. Deliverables Best Practices Document Contact Resources for schools, colleges/universities Service and HUD Shelter Contacts Develop and implement “road show” with CDE and College Invest Working with Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Tip Sheet/Resource Guide (see following slides) Example interview questions for financial aid administrators to determine unaccompanied youth status (See determining eligibility document. Specific document for higher ed in development phase) Sustainability Plan for communication between higher education liaisons

31. 31 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Accessing Higher Education? Service providers: Help students obtain “vital” documents Connect with McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaisons or school counselors in the school district, when appropriate (see statewide liaison list of liaisons) Provide students with a template for verification of independent student status Give students a copy of the signed template and keep an additional copy on-site

32. 32 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth In Accessing Higher Education? Service providers: Establish a “single point of contact” at your organization who can field and respond to higher education calls right away Link students up with the “single point of contact” at the college/university Help students scan their forms on-line (CollegeInColorado)

33. 33 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth In Accessing Higher Education? Service providers: What else???

34. 34 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Accessing Higher Education? Scholarship Programs: Provide ongoing support services Connect students with resources at the higher education institutions Link students up with the “single point of contact” at the college/university Connect with McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaisons

35. 35 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth In Accessing Higher Education? Scholarship Providers: What else???

36. 36 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Accessing Higher Education? Enhancing success: See “Best Practices” sheet Connect students with mentor and peer support groups Partner with higher education to leverage services Inform higher ed and homeless education liaisons of your work Call “SPOC”s and build relationships Explain who you are and what programs you provide

37. 37 What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth in Accessing Higher Education? Provide Feedback: What is working? What is not? What tools would be helpful? What further guidance is needed? Let us know about effective practices Numbers

38. 38 FAFSA Resources FAFSA Tips for Unaccompanied Youth Without Stable Housing www.naehcy.org/dl/fafsa_tips_09-10.doc Helping Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Access College Financial Aid www.naehcy.org/dl/uy_higher_ed.doc Higher Education Act Reauthorization: Homeless and Foster Youth www.naehcy.org/dl/hea_summ.doc Income Tax and the FAFSA for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth www.naehcy.org/dl/tax_fafsa.doc Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Verification For the Purposes of Federal Financial Aid www.naehcy.org/dl/uy_fafsa_verif.doc

39. 39 State and National Partners in Educating Homeless Children and Youth Colorado Department of Education (CDE) Dana Scott, State Coordinator for the Educ. of Homeless Children and Youth Ph: 303-866-6930 Email: [email protected] www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprevention/homeless_index.htm National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) www.serve.org/nche Ph: 336-315-7453 National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)- Barbara Duffield, National Policy Advisor www.naehcy.org Ph: (202) 364.7392 National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) www.nlchp.org Ph: 202-638-2535

40. 40 Higher Education Partners in Educating Homeless Children and Youth CollegeInvest Misti Ruthven, School Relations Manager Ph: 303-324-7950 Email: [email protected] www.collegeinvest.org CollegeInColorado www.collegeincolorado.org Ph: 720-264-8500 Educational Opportunity Center- Debra Suniga Ph: 303-629-9226 TRIO – Melissa Quinteros [email protected] Ph: 303.912.3253

41. 41 “I knew that I didn’t want to be homeless for the rest of my life, and I saw education as the sure path to a more secure future. Hard work does not intimidate; a vacuous future does. To succeed in college is to succeed in life, and never again have to live the way I am living now.” - Ashleigh, 2005 LeTendre Scholar and Formerly Homeless Student

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