McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
In January of 2002, Congress authorized the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to help people experiencing homelessness. The federal law includes the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program that entitles children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence to a free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance and success in school. The McKinney-Vento Program meets the needs of homeless students attending Perquimans County Public Schools by addressing academic challenges and family issues affecting their success in school. Under the McKinney-Vento Program, there is no age limit for an unaccompanied homeless or runaway youth as long as the student is eligible for K-12 public education in NC. Schools must immediately alert the School McKinney-Vento Liaison or the District McKinney-Vento Liaison if presented with a possible runaway or unaccompanied homeless youth.
Living situations that may qualify include, but are not limited to:
• Living with a friend, relative or other person/family because of a loss of housing
• Staying in a motel or hotel because of a loss of housing or fleeing domestic violence
• Living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or domestic violence shelter
• Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station
• Living temporarily in substandard housing
• Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home
• Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter; run away youth
• Youth living on their own, even if their families want them to come home
McKinney-Vento Rights and Supports
Your McKinney-Vento eligible children have the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education.
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
- Enroll in the local school; or continue attending the school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference.
- If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children's needs.
McKinney-Vento legislation defines unaccompanied youth as a youth in a homeless situation who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. A youth may also be unaccompanied but not homeless. Please involve the school liaison to assist any youth with enrollment.
Youth without a parent should be immediately enrolled and referred to the school McKinney-Vento Liaison for an assessment.
Unaccompanied youth in transition include young people:
- who have run away from home
- been thrown out of the home, and /or
- been abandoned by parents or guardians.
These young people are separated from their parents for a variety of reasons. Over 50% report being physically abused at home, and over a third report sexual abuse. Over two-thirds report that at least one of their parents abuses drugs or alcohol. For many of these young people, leaving home is a survival issue. Other youth are thrown out of their homes because they are pregnant, gay or lesbian, or because their parents believe they are old enough to take care of themselves. Over 50% of youth living in shelters report that their parents either told them to leave or knew they were leaving and did not care. (NCHE)
Once out of the home, unaccompanied youth are frequently victimized. As many as 50% have been assaulted or robbed; and one in ten runaways reports being raped. School may be the only safe and stable environment available to unaccompanied youth. Yet unaccompanied youth often face unique barriers to enrolling and succeeding in school. Without a parent or guardian to advocate for them and exercise parental rights, they are sometimes denied enrollment and remain out of school for extended periods of time. Unaccompanied youth also may not understand their educational rights or know how to acquire this information. (NCHE).
McKinney Vento Identified Student Counts
- North Carolina Homeless Education Program
- Parent Information Poster
- Youth Information Poster
- NC Homeless Education Program
- Determining Eligibility for McKinney- Vento Rights and Services
- Homeless Program Monitoring
District Social Worker
Dr. Kanika Griffin
Dr. Kanika Griffin
Chief Academic Officer of Student Services
(252)426-5741 ext. 230
State Coordinator for Homeless Education