The McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 is a U.S. federal law related to the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness. The Act was reauthorized in December 2015 as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Who is considered homeless?:
A “homeless” student is defined as; a child or youth lacking a fixed, permanent, and adequate nighttime residence.
- Sharing the housing of others due to economic hardship
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camp grounds
- Living in transitional housing or emergency shelters
- Living in places not designed or intended for sleeping
- Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, bus stations, etc.
- Unaccompanied youth living in the above situation and not in the custody of a parent or guardian.
What questions should I ask about services under McKinney-Vento?:
- Who is the local homeless liaison? How can I contact him or her?
- If my child changes schools, who can help us transfer records quickly?
- How can my child receive free meals at school?
- How can my child receive free school supplies, if needed?
- Who can help if my child needs special education services?
- What academic help is available for my child such as Title I programs or after-school tutoring?
- Are there extra-curricular activities available for my child?
- How can my child go on class field trips or participate in other school activities if I can’t pay for them?
- Is there a pre-school program for my younger children?
Who can I contact to help with my child's education?:
- Contact the Homeless Liaison or School Social Worker. They can help you decide which school is best for your child.
- Talk with your child’s teacher every so often to see how he/she is doing.
- The school counselor or social worker can help your child deal with the changes and challenges.
Jennifer Modeen, LCSW