I got a referral from a mother and child who are staying in a transitional housing program run by a local substance abuse treatment program. The housing program is not a homeless transitional housing situation; it’s just a continuation of the parent’s treatment. Is the student eligible under McKinney-Vento?

Answer: Since the parent is in the program for substance abuse treatment and not due to homelessness necessarily, you need to talk with the parent about what their housing situation was prior to entry into the program. If the family has (or had) a fixed, regular, and...

I am working with an unaccompanied youth who graduated in June of 2020. In fall of 2022, I provided a letter verifying the student’s status when they graduated and providing current information on their living situation. The college called me and told me it was not acceptable documentation for me to provide a verification letter, even though it included current information. Do you have recommendations for letters or other documentation I can use to help remove barriers for unaccompanied homeless youth?

Answer: McKinney-Vento liaisons can provide unaccompanied homeless youth with FAFSA verification letters for students who have graduated, if the liaison is still in touch with the student and still has knowledge of the information necessary to make the...

I have a question about eligibility in doubled-up situations, when a mom moves in with a boyfriend. Eligibility is clear when one partner was evicted, so they moved in with the other partner. However, what guidance can you provide when one partner moves in with the other, and both are contributing somewhat to the household. In this case, would we identify the students under McKinney-Vento?

A: Every situation needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There are questions you’ll want to consider when thinking about the situation you described: Was there a loss of housing? Are they sharing housing due to financial hardship? Are they both on the...

My district allows anyone to apply to attend a school outside their boundary area, if they agree to follow attendance and behavior rules. We have a McKinney-Vento family attending an out-of-boundary school through this process (not their local school or school of origin), and not complying with the expectation of regular attendance and/or having behavioral issues. Can we disenroll them and send them back to their local school?

Answer: This is complex, since the students were McKinney-Vento eligible when they applied to the out-of-boundary school and agreed to comply with certain expectations. At the same time, that is now their school of origin. The best approach under the law would be for...

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?

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...

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