Homeless Youth and McKinney Vento Resources

The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement
  • Children and youth 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 youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above
  • Unaccompanied youth not in the presence of parent or guardian

McKinney-Vento Act

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 youths experiencing homelessness. It requires all local educational agencies to ensure that homeless students have access to the same free, appropriate public education, including public preschools, as provided to other children and youths. 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 Youths Program.

Enrollment Strategies
  • Train all school enrollment staff, secretaries, school counselors, school social workers, and principals on the legal requirements for enrollment.
  • Review LEA policies and revise them as necessary.
  • Develop alternative caretaker forms, enrollment forms for unaccompanied youth, and other forms to replace typical proof of guardianship, ensuring they do not create further barriers or delay enrollment.
  • Accept school records directly from families and youth.
  • Establish immunization databases, school-based immunization clinics, or mobile heath units.
  • Be sensitive about smoothly integrating new students into the classroom and school community.
Student/Family Resources

National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
A national grassroots membership association that connects educators, parents, advocates, researchers, and service providers to ensure success for children and youths in homeless situations.

National Center for Homeless Education at SERVE
Educational organization that promotes continuous improvement of educational opportunities for all learners.

National Law Center on Homeless and Poverty
A legal resource center that provides legal assistance.

District Resources

The following sample documents are on the California Department of Education(CDE) Homeless Children and Youth Education site and are all in WORD icon for Microsoft Word format:

Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit
It is recommended that you review this form with your legal representative prior to use. This form is to protect the district when the bio parent is not available. This allow you to use the caregiver during parental absence. 

Declaration Form
Declaration For Missing Enrollment Documentation Form 
Student Residency Questionnaire/Affidavit
Student Services Questionnaire
Shared Residence Affidavit
Transportation Agreement

"You Can Enroll in School" Poster English

"You Can Enroll in School" Poster