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Supporting the Needs of Homeless Children and Youth. OSPI Counseling Conference June 24, 2014. Today’s Session…. Overview regarding homeless children and youth in Washington State Discuss causes and impacts of homelessness Understand general provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act

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Supporting the needs of homeless children and youth

Supporting the Needs of Homeless Children and Youth

OSPI Counseling Conference

June 24, 2014


Today s session
Today’s Session…

  • Overview regarding homeless children and youth in Washington State

  • Discuss causes and impacts of homelessness

  • Understand general provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act

  • Discuss responsibilities of school districts

  • Raise awareness…


How many children and youth experience homelessness
How many children and youth experience homelessness?

  • 1.35 million children (nationally)

  • 10% of all children living in poverty

  • 733,000-1.3 million youths

  • Over 40% of all children who are homeless are under the age of 5

  • In Washington 30,609 in 2012-13 (K-12)

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Causes of homelessness
Causes of Homelessness

  • Lack of affordable housing

  • Deep poverty

  • Health problems

  • Domestic violence

  • Natural and other disasters

  • Abuse/neglect (unaccompanied youth)

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Research on school mobility
Research on School Mobility

  • Students who switch schools frequently score lower on standardized tests; study found mobile students scored 20 points lower than non-mobile students

  • Mobility also hurts non-mobile students; study found average test scores for non-mobile students were significantly lower in high schools with high student mobility rates

  • It takes children an average of 4-6 months to recover academically after changing schools

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Research on school mobility cont
Research on School Mobility (cont.)

  • Students suffer psychologically, socially, and academically from mobility; mobile students are less likely to participate in extracurricular activities and more likely to act out or get into trouble

  • Mobility during high school greatly diminishes the likelihood of graduation; study found students who changed high schools even once were less than half as likely as stable students to graduate, even controlling for other factors

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Research on school mobility cont1
Research on School Mobility, cont.

  • 39% of sheltered homeless children missed more than one week of school per quarter and changed school from two to five times in 12 months


Homelessness and dropping out
Homelessness and Dropping Out

  • There aren't national statistics on the graduation rates for homeless youth.

  • Some states have been able to disaggregate homeless student graduation rates from other subgroups, and found that homeless students had the lowest graduation rate/highest-drop out rate of all groups.

  • The report found that young people affected by homelessness were 87% more likely to leave school (drop out) than those with a more stable place to live.

  • This makes homelessness the highest risk factor for not graduating on time. 

    A Report from America’s Promise Alliance and its Center for Promise at Tufts University


Barriers to education for homeless children and youth
Barriers to Education forHomeless Children and Youth

  • Enrollment requirements (school records, immunizations, proof of residence and guardianship)

  • High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and educational continuity

  • Lack of access to programs

  • Lack of transportation

  • Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc.

  • Poor health, fatigue, hunger

  • Prejudice and misunderstanding

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Who is homeless
Who is homeless?

The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youths as…

  • Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes:

    • Children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;


Who is homeless cont
Who is homeless, cont.

  • are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

  • are living in emergency or transitional shelters;

  • are abandoned in hospitals; or are

  • awaiting foster care placement;


Who is homeless cont1
Who is homeless, cont.

  • Children and youths 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 youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and


Who is homeless cont2
Who is homeless, cont.

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described (above.)


Who uses the mckinney vento definition of homeless
Who uses the McKinney-Vento Definition of “homeless”?

  • Elementary and Secondary Education (ED)

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (ED)

  • Violence Against Women Act (DOJ)

  • Higher Education Act (ED)

  • Head Start Act (HHS)

  • Child Nutrition Act (USDA)


Washington state data trends
Washington State Data Trends

2003-04: 8,141

2004-05: 12,274

2005-06: 13,942

2006-07: 16,853

2007-08: 18,670

2008-09: 20,780

2009-10: 21,826

2010-11: 26,049

2011-12: 27,390

2012-13: 30,609



Mckinney vento grants
McKinney-Vento Grants

  • Currently, Washington receives $919,172 (approximately $690,000 distributed to districts in the form of grants)

  • Provides competitive grants to 24 sites

  • Of 295 districts, 251 reported homeless students enrolled in 2012-13


The mckinney vento act
The McKinney-Vento Act

The federal McKinney-Vento Act ensures that children and youth experiencing homelessness are able to enroll, attend and succeed in school. Homeless students must be able to attend and participate fully in all school activities, including after-school athletics, co-curricular activities and other school-sponsored events.


Key provisions school selection
Key Provisions—School Selection

  • Children and youth experiencing homelessness can stay in their school of origin or enroll in any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend, according to their best interest

  • School of origin—school attended when permanently housed or in which last enrolled

  • Best interest—keep homeless students in their schools of origin, to the extent feasible, unless this is against the parents’ or guardians’ wishes


Determining best interest
Determining Best Interest

  • Continuity of instruction

  • Age of the child or youth

  • Safety of the child or youth

  • Length of stay at the shelter

  • Likely area where family will find permanent housing

  • Student’s need for special instructional programs

  • Impact of commute on education

  • School placement of siblings

  • Time remaining in the school year


School districts are required to
School Districts are Required to…

  • Identify homeless students

  • Immediately enroll homeless students, even if they lack records

  • Maintain enrollment in the school of origin, whenever feasible and in the best interest of the child

  • Transfer records immediately when a student moves

  • Provide transportation to/from school of origin

  • Resolve disputes related to enrollment and provision of service


District requirements cont
District requirements, cont.

  • Provide comparable services

  • Coordinate and collaborate with other agencies/entities providing services to homeless children, youth and their families

  • Coordinate with state and local housing agencies

  • Provide training to district staff

  • Provide special services, including Special Education, early childhood, preschool, etc.

  • Set aside Title I funds to serve homeless students in schools


Local homeless education liaisons
Local HomelessEducation Liaisons

  • Every LEA must designate a liaison for students in homeless situations

  • Responsibilities

    • Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations are identified

    • Ensure that homeless students enroll in and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school

    • Link with educational services, including preschool and health services

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org


Local homeless education liaisons cont
Local HomelessEducation Liaisons (cont.)

  • Inform parents, guardians, or youth of educational and parent involvement opportunities

  • Post public notice of educational rights

  • Resolve disputes

  • Inform parents, guardians, or youth of transportation services, including to the school of origin

NCHE • www.serve.org/nche • NAEHCY • www.naehcy.org



Who are unaccompanied homeless youth
Who are Unaccompanied Homeless Youth?

1) Unaccompanied

Not in the physical custody of parents

2) Homeless

Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence

3) Youth

Under 21 years of age


Unaccompanied youth homeless on their own
Unaccompanied Youth: Homeless on Their Own

  • Youth may become homeless with their families, but end up on their own due to lack of space in temp. accommodations or shelter policies that prohibit adolescent boys

  • Youth may have fled abuse and/or dysfunction in the home.

    • Studies have found that 20-40% were sexually abused in their homes; 40-60% were physically abused

    • Over two-thirds of callers to Runaway Hotline report

      at least one of their parents abuses drugs or alcohol

    • 21 – 53% of homeless youth have a history of out-

      of-home care through the child welfare system

      Toro, P. Dworsky, A. and Fowler, P. (2007). “Homeless Youth in the United States: Recent Research Findings

      and Intervention Approaches.” Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on

      Homelessness Research.


Unaccompanied youth homeless on their own1
Unaccompanied Youth: Homeless on Their Own

  • Youth may have been thrown out of their homes due to sexual orientation: 20-40% of unaccompanied youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (compared to 3-5% of adults)

    The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Coalition for the Homeless (2007). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: An epidemic of homelessness.

  • Youth may have been thrown out of their homes due to pregnancy (10% of currently homeless female teenagers are pregnant)

    Toro, P. Dworsky, A. and Fowler, P. (2007). “Homeless Youth in the United States: Recent Research Findings

    and Intervention Approaches.” Toward Understanding Homelessness: The 2007 National Symposium on

    Homelessness Research.


Unaccompanied youth homeless on their own2
Unaccompanied Youth: Homeless on Their Own

  • As the economy worsens, some families are forced to send older teenagers out to support themselves

  • Over half of youth living in shelters report that their parents either told them to leave, or knew they were leaving and did not care

    Runaway Switchboard

  • 32% of runaway and homeless youth have attempted suicide at some point in their lives.

    Westat, Inc. 1997. National Evaluation of Runaway and Homeless Youth. Washinton, DC: US Dep't of HHS, Admin on Children, Youth and Families. -



What about higher education can unaccompanied homeless youth apply for federal financial aid
What About Higher Education? Can Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Apply for Federal Financial Aid?

  • Yes, with assistance from advocates

  • Due to severe poverty, they are extremely unlikely to be able to access postsecondary education without federal student aid


Fafsa barriers
FAFSA Barriers

  • Youth cannot supply the information required by the FAFSA (such as documentation)

  • Youth may not know how to fill out the form and can become overwhelmed by the amount of information requested

  • The FAFSA requires most students to provide financial information and signatures from parents/guardians


The power of partnership
The Power of Partnership

  • It is critical for homeless education

    liaisons, counselors and service

    providers to work with UHY to complete

    the FAFSA and serve as intermediaries with financial aid administrators


Financial aid and fafsa basics
Financial Aid and FAFSA Basics

  • Families are expected to contribute to higher education costs to the extent to which they are able

    • “expected family contribution” or EFC

  • FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid

    • Cannot be filed before January 1st preceding the academic year in which the student wishes to enroll

    • For dependent students, filling out the FAFSA requires income and asset information for both the student and a parent, and a parent signature; the student’s aid package is decided factoring in parental income and support

    • For independent students, no parental signature or income and asset information is needed; the student’s aid package is decided solely based on the student’s finances


College cost reduction and access act
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.


College cost reduction act cont
College Cost Reduction Act (cont.)

  • 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


College cost reduction act verification
College Cost Reduction Act - Verification

  • Verification is not required

  • If choosing to verify, authorized entities are:

    • a McKinney-Vento Act school district liaison

    • a HUD homeless assistance program director or their designee

    • a Runaway and Homeless Youth Act program director or their designee

    • A Financial Aid Administrator (FAA)

  • Sample verification template at www.naehcy.org


What can you do to assist unaccompanied homeless youth
What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth?

  • Inform unaccompanied homeless youth that they can go to college, even without parental financial support

  • Provide assistance with FAFSA completion

  • Connect with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Liaison in your district for verification and connection to other needed services & resources

  • If you are a Liaison, VERIFY! Fill out a verification template for every unaccompanied homeless youth senior and make three copies

    1) student 2) liaison and 3) counselor


What can you do to assist unaccompanied homeless youth cont
What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth? (cont.)

  • Contact the financial aid administratorat the college of the student’s choice for more information about how that institution handles determinations of independence and dependency overrides

  • Know the AVG (Application and Verification Guide)

  • Provide lettersattesting to the youth’s unaccompanied and homeless status.

  • Help students address barriers to higher educationor connect them with school resources that can assist.


What can you do to assist unaccompanied homeless youth cont1
What Can You Do To Assist Unaccompanied Homeless Youth? (cont.)

  • Share informationwith other homeless liaisons, social workers, and community service providers, so that they are informed and able to assist (FERPA compliance)

  • Locate and develop a relationship with a state or local college access organization in your community. College access organizations provide counseling, advice, and financial assistance

  • Connect with local Gear Up, Trios and other resources


Higher education resources naehcy nche
Higher Education Resources – NAEHCY & NCHE

  • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)Higher Education webpage, hotline, toolkits, legislation, summary documents, templates:

    www.naehcy.org/educational-resources/helpline

  • National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE)NCHE higher education information by topic,

    scholarships, recommended practices, sample forms

    and posters:

    http://center.serve.org/nche/ibt/higher_ed.php


Naehcy higher education helpline 1 855 446 2673 toll free
NAEHCY Higher Education Helpline1 (855) 446-2673 (toll-free)

[email protected]

  • For assistance with issues related to students experiencing homelessness accessing higher education for Financial Aid Administrators, McKinney Liaisons, High School Counselors, Shelter Staff and Service Providers, Unaccompanied Homeless Youth and Parents of students experiencing homelessness.

  • NAEHCY and NASFAA are working with state-level representatives to develop statewide higher education and homelessness networks in 6-9 states.


Resources
Resources

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction: www.k12.wa.us/homelessed/default.aspx

National Center for Homeless Education: www.serve.org/nche/

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth: www.naehcy.org

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty: www.nlchp.org


For more information
For more information…

Melinda Dyer, Program Supervisor

Education of Homeless Children and Youth

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

360.725.6050

[email protected]


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