Between February and May 2019, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services held 10 regional listening sessions with more than 600 stakeholders on issues related to youth and family homelessness. Organized by the ACF Office of Regional Operations and the Family and Youth Services Bureau, the listening sessions allowed ACF leaders to learn about trends, barriers, and local innovative responses from a diverse group of stakeholders, including parents with lived experience, grantee and non-grantee service providers, educators, faith-based and community providers, and state and local government leaders. The sessions also provided an opportunity to share information about ACF’s resources with attendees, and to ask attendees for ways that ACF programs might be improved to better serve families and youth who are experiencing homelessness.
Related SchoolHouse Connection Resources:
- This one-pager summarizes access to early learning for children experiencing homelessness, including the following topic: preschool under the McKinney-Vento Act, Head Start and Early Head Start, Child Care Subsidies, Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), and support for young children with developmental delays or disabilities.
- This short document provides basic information to help housing and homeless assistance providers advocate with their families and youth for appropriate educational services, from birth through higher education. The rights and protections outlined here apply to all children and youth experiencing homelessness, as defined by the education subtitle of the McKinney-Vento Act.
- The quality of the very early years of a child’s life is predictive of lifelong health, educational attainment, and economic security. Unfortunately, many housing and homeless service systems and programs are ill-equipped to provide the resources and support that infants, young children, and school-aged children and their families need. This tool is designed to help housing and homeless service providers make their spaces, practices, and policies safe for children.
- Quality early childhood programs can change the trajectory of a child’s health and well-being, and help families experiencing homelessness regain stability. This guide is designed to help LEA liaisons and homeless service providers develop a basic understanding of, and build partnerships with, five key early childhood programs.
- Sesame Street in Communities has produced free, bilingual resources for children and families experiencing homelessness and the providers who serve them. To help practitioners quickly use Sesame Street content in the context of their specific work, SchoolHouse Connection has produced brief suggestions, organized by provider role.