Answer: You were correct to enroll the child immediately under the McKinney-Vento Act. She is eligible and school is the safest place for her. The student can remain enrolled under McKinney-Vento without a birth certificate for as long as she is experiencing homelessness. It is important to encourage her mother and step-father to work on obtaining the birth certificate, as she will need it eventually. You can provide any support you can. Your state’s vital records office will have a process to secure the birth certificate without a documented birth, so start by reaching out to that office. It is also recommended that you check the Missing Children’s hotline/list that NCMEC offers, here, to be sure she has not been abducted. Based on the information you have shared, there is no need to contact child protective services or your attorney. (Keep in mind that contacting child protective services could create a barrier to the student’s enrollment and retention in school, which would violate the McKinney-Vento Act.)
A McKinney-Vento student was enrolled by her stepfather without any documents. This is not a problem, but we have confirmed with the student’s mother that there actually is no birth certificate, as the birth was never documented in a medical setting. I typically assist with securing a birth certificate and immunizations records, but this situation is very different. Should I be contacting child protective services or our attorney?
Mar 15, 2022 | Q and A