Foster and Homeless Youth

Homeless Liaison (McKinney Vento)
Beatriz Robles
707-942-4398 x 4
[email protected]

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act) (42 U.S.C. § 11431-11435) is federal legislation that ensures the educational rights and protections of children and youth experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies (LEAs) to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youth. The McKinney-Vento Act defines LEAs as public school districts, direct-funded and locally funded charter schools, and county offices of education. The McKinney-Vento Act also authorizes the funding for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program.

You can enroll in school even if you have:

  • Uncertain housing
  • A temporary address
  • No permanent physical address

You are guaranteed enrollment in school by the federal McKinney-Vento Act and California state law if you live:

  • In a house or apartment with more than one family due to loss of housing or economic hardship
  • With friends or family because you are a runaway or an unaccompanied youth
  • In substandard housing (without electricity, water, or heat)
  • In a shelter (family, domestic violence, or youth shelter or transitional living program)
  • In a motel, hotel, or weekly rate housing
  • In an abandoned building, in a car, at a campground, or on the streets

You can enroll in school immediately even without the documents normally required for enrollment, such as:

  • Proof of residency
  • Immunization records or other required health records
  • School records
  • Legal guardianship papers

Your child may:

  • Participate fully in all school activities and programs for which he/she is eligible
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin if you request it
  • Continue to attend the school in which he/she was last enrolled even if you have moved away from that school's attendance area
  • Qualify automatically for school nutrition programs

Your responsibilities are to:

  • Make sure your child gets to school on time and ready to learn
  • Stay informed of school rules, regulations, and activities
  • Contact the homeless liaison for assistance in removing barriers to your child's education
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences, Back-to-School Nights, and other school-related activities
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