Reaching Foster and Homeless Youth College Goal Sunday National Forum Albuquerque, NM - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Reaching Foster and Homeless Youth College Goal Sunday National Forum Albuquerque, NM

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    1. Reaching Foster and Homeless Youth College Goal Sunday National Forum Albuquerque, NM May 11, 2009

    3. Why are Youth Homeless and on Their Own? (Continued) 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 Some youth become homeless with their families, but, due to lack of space in doubled-up or motel situations, end up homeless on their own Natural disasters cause youth to be separated from family during their homelessness Aging out of foster care into homelessness; running away from foster care placements due to abuse in the foster home, or to reconnect with siblings and family

    4. How many youth experience homelessness on their own? 1.6-1.7 million youth each year Public schools identified and enrolled 799,855 children/youth in 2007-2008 (includes children in intact families); this is an 18% increase over the previous year Homelessness is increasing this year due to economic downturn, housing crisis, etc

    5. Homelessness and Foster Care Whats the Connection? 22% of homeless children are put into foster care and stay in care longer. 30% of children in foster care could return home if their parents had access to housing. Approximately 27% of homeless adults and 41% of homeless youth report a history of foster care. 25% of youth aging out of foster care experience homelessness. Lack of placements for older youth Youth run away from placements or avoid the system Foster care reunification- $ and housing are more important than substance abuse in determining whether a child will remain with their family!!!Foster care reunification- $ and housing are more important than substance abuse in determining whether a child will remain with their family!!!

    6. Where Do Homeless Youth Live? Defining Homelessness The College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) include a definition of homelessness that matches the definition of homelessness in the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which governs public schools Identical definition is in the Child Nutrition Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Head Start Act, and the Violence Against Women Act Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homeless programs use a more restrictive definition (but changes are pending)

    7. McKinney-Vento (and CCRAA and HEOA) Definition of Homelessness Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason [61% of students identified by public schools in 2006-2007] Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations [Motels: 7% of students identified by public schools in 2006-2007] Living in emergency or transitional shelters [24% of students identified by public schools in 2006-2007]

    8. McKinney-Vento (and CCRAA and HEOA) Definition of Homelessness, Continued Awaiting foster care placement (state and local interpretations vary) 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 Unaccompanied Youth: A youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian who also meets the definition of homeless McKinney-Vento cite: 42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)

    9. Homeless Definition: Why So Broad? Shelters are often full; shelters may turn youth away, or put youth on waiting lists Shelters do not exist in many suburban and rural areas Eligibility conditions of shelters often exclude families with boys over the age of 12, or unaccompanied minors Motels may not be available, or may be too expensive Youth may fear adult shelters Shelters often have 30, 60, or 90 day time limits Families/youth may be unaware of alternatives, fleeing in crisis, living in over-crowded, temporary, and sometimes unsafe environments

    10. Impact of Homelessness Higher rates of acute and chronic illness, depression and anxiety; experiences of trauma and loss For unaccompanied youth, lack of support from any caring adult Unaccompanied youth are frequently victimized. As many as half have been assaulted or robbed; one in ten runaways reports being raped According to the National Runaway Switchboard, 5,000 unaccompanied youth die each year from assault, illness, or suicide Perform lower on academic assessments 75% of unaccompanied homeless youth do not graduate

    11. Barriers to Education High mobility: 41% will attend at least two different schools; 28% will attend three or more Unaccompanied youth: lack of a parent or guardian to sign forms Lack of school records and other paperwork Lack of stable housing Emotional crisis / mental health issues Employment - need to balance school and work Lack of transportation Lack of school supplies, clothing Fatigue, poor health, hunger Credit accrual policies, attendance policies Concerns about being captured by authorities Low expectations by family, school

    12. Educational Rights Under The McKinney-Vento Act Broad mandate for all school districts to remove barriers to school enrollment and retention by revising policies and practices Remain in the school of origin (if in best interest) Transportation to the school of origin Immediate enrollment Access to programs and services Access to dispute resolution procedures

    13. McKinney-Vento Personnel Every State Education Agency has an Office of State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Collaboration responsibilities across agencies and with communities Technical assistance to LEAs Compliance Professional development Data collection and reporting

    14. McKinney-Vento Personnel Every Local Education Agency (school district) must designate a liaison for students in homeless situations Responsibilities Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations are identified through school and community Ensure that homeless students enroll in and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school Make referrals for health, mental health, and other services, and ensure that homeless children receive Head Start and preschool programs administered by school districts

    15. Local Homeless Education 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 Collaborate and coordinate with community and school personnel

    16. College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) Starting in the 2009-2010 academic year: Independent student definition will also be expanded to include any applicant who has been verified during the school year in which the application is submitted as either: An unaccompanied youth who is a homeless child or youth, as such terms are defined in section 725 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; or An unaccompanied youth who is at risk of homelessness and is also self-supporting.

    17. Verification A local educational agency homeless liaison, designated pursuant to 722(g)(1)J)(ii) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; The director or a designee of the director of a program funded by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act; The director of a program funded under subtitle B of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; or A financial aid administrator.

    18. Verification, Continued HUD-funded Shelters: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers funding for homeless shelters and services under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act. These funds are distributed to communities through a competitive grant process. For more information, see:

    19. Verification, Continued RHYA-funded Shelters: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs. These programs provide funding for Basic Centers, Transitional Living Programs, and Street Outreach Programs that serve runaway and other unaccompanied homeless youth. For more information, see:

    20. Building Networks Webinars Financial Aid 101 Understand homelessness Connecting organizations College access programs Financial aid, admissions, guidance counseling Providing resources FAFSA Tips for Foster and Homeless Students

    21. Application and Verification Guide Located on ED website at If a student does not have, and cannot get, verification from a liaison, RHYA provider, or HUD provider, a financial aid administrator must make a determination of homeless/unaccompanied status This is not an exercise of professional judgment or a dependency override, but should be processed as such for this year; a separate question will be added next year

    22. Application and Verification Guide - 2 Determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis (see NCHEs Determining Eligibility A student living in a dormitory who would otherwise be homeless should be considered homeless A student fleeing abuse and living in homeless living situations may be considered homeless even if the parent would provide a place to live

    23. Application and Verification Guide - 3 No prescribed documentation for FAA evaluation of living arrangements, but it must demonstrate that student meets the definition Determination may be made on the basis of a documented interview with the student if no written documentation is available FAAs may rely upon a determination from another school that a student met definition Students older than 21 but younger than 24 who would otherwise meet the definition qualify for a dependency override

    24. New Initiatives Development of a survey to identify campus-based support services to increase degree-completion rates. Working with AACC and RCCA to understand needs of homeless and foster youth. Working with the FAFSA Simplification Study Group to provide focus groups at CGS sites.

    25. Resources To find local liaisons: contact the Office of State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Most State Coordinators maintain updated lists of all liaisons (often on the State Department of Education web site) Contact information for State Coordinators is on the NCHE web site: To find HUD-funded shelter providers in your community: To find Runaway and Homeless Youth Act service providers:

    26. LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship Administered by the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Small scholarships for students who experienced homelessness in their school career Students who have not reached their 21st birthday by September 1, 2008, and who have completed less than one year of college are eligible to apply. Applicants may be high school juniors or seniors, students enrolled in a GED or other alternative education program, or recent graduates/GED recipients.

    27. Resources for Professionals National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators National Center on Homeless Education National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty National Network for Youth

    28. Defining Foster Care Placing a child in the temporary care of a family other than its own as a result of problems or challenges that are taking place within the birth family or while critical elements of an adoption are being completed. Adoption Glossary

    29. Why are youth in foster care? Severe behavioral problems with youth Neglect/abuse in the home (removed by welfare agency) Illness (physical or emotional) Incarceration Abandonment Alcohol/substance abuse Death of parents

    30. How many youth are in foster care? Over 500,000 children in the US currently reside in some form of foster care American Academy of Childs Adolescent Psychiatry

    31. Impact of Foster Care Increase of physical and mental health issues Juvenile delinquency Poverty Low emotional functions 53% developmental delays Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics

    32. Barriers to Education Same as those for homeless youth But do we have a clarity of the true challenges these youth face in education? Transition Structured vs freedom Choices

    33. Foster Care Independence Living Program December 1999, Foster Care Independence Act signed into law. Title I of the Act is the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP). This legislation helps ensure that young people involved in the foster care system get the tools they need to make the most of their lives. They may have opportunities for additional education or training, housing assistance, counseling and other services. The Act Provides: Flexible funding for distribution to States through grants for program services for youth. Opportunities for States to serve youth who are likely to remain in foster care and those who have aged out of foster care up to 21 years of age. Enables youth to make better choices and accept greater responsibility for their own lives. Enables older youth (18-21) to receive housing assistance if needed. States the option of allowing these young people to remain eligible for Medicaid up to age 21.

    34. FCILP Services Life Skills instruction and assessment Transitional living plans Mentors Incentive payments Degree or GED Volunteer experience School performance Employment

    35. Services continued Travel assistance Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) Stipends Ages 16-21 Vocational training Job readiness

    36. Education and Training Vouchers Public/Private partnership in Montana Complete application and FAFSA Ward of the court Adopted or guardianship after age 16 13 years old on FAFSA

    37. College Goal Sunday Mail to foster youth and those that work with the foster youth Network Runaway programs FCILP/Tribal Upward Bound/GEAR UP/TRiO Youth Service Networks Guidance/Group Homes DPHHS Community Services

    38. College Goal Sunday FAFSA tips for foster youth and homeless Clear with volunteers no judgment can be made at CGS for these youth This is up to the financial aid office

    39. Resources for College Students Student Support Services New mandate for TRiO and GEAR UP to work with foster and homeless youth Send letter to all ETV recipients with campus information on how to get enrolled who to talk to Consistent support Emotional, independent living and academic guidance Flexibility Face to face communication Safe, monitored, federally supported

    40. Building Networks Outreach Adoption services Child Family Services - conferences Guidance Counselors Engaging this population Presentations Career Information Systems FAFSA/CGS ETV SSS College prep camp

    41. Scholarships

    42. College Goal Sunday Including FAFSA changes in trainings. Developing targeted grassroots outreach strategies to homeless youth and shelters. Connecting with homeless liaisons in school districts in CGS states. Focus groups to identify challenges and needs of homeless and foster youth.

    43. Resources for College Students Dream Keepers Emergency Financial Aid Program Helping students from community colleges at risk of dropping out due to a financial emergency.

    44. Resources for College Students Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Get federal or state work-study monies or Work 20 hours or more per week or Have a child under the age of 12 in the home (further rules apply) or Take part in job training programs operated by the government or Are disabled

    45. Resources for Professionals Casey Family Programs Foster Care Alumni of America Foster Club Jim Casey Youth Opportunities National Resource Center for Youth

    46. Verification Letters To verify a students status as homeless or formerly in foster care for financial aid purposes: Homeless: Foster Care (example)

    47. College Goal Sunday Coordination For a listing of Homeless Liaisons in your state: Foster care:

    48. Contact Information Barbara Duffield Policy Director National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth 4701 Connecticut Avenue, NW, #402 Washington, DC 20008 (202) 364-7392 (phone) (202) 318-7523 (fax) Rhonda Safford Programs Manager Student Assistance Foundation 2500 Broadway Helena, MT 59601 (406) 495-7750 Fax (406) 495-7852