Do school districts have the responsibility to identify or locate children and youth experiencing homelessness?
Yes. Every school district must designate a liaison for children and youth experiencing homelessness. The purpose of identification is to offer appropriate services to the family, child or youth.
Is there any guidance on what “fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence” means?
The McKinney-Vento Act states that children and youth who lack “a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence” will be considered homeless.
Is there a time limit on how long a child or youth can be considered homeless?
No. Whether a child or youth meets the definition of homelessness depends upon the living situation and the individual circumstances.
Are children and youth who move in with relatives, friends, or other people covered by the Act?
Children and youth who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason are covered by the McKinney-Vento Act.
Are students displaced by a disaster covered by the McKinney-Vento Act?
Yes. Students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence due to a disaster (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood, chemical explosion, terrorist attack, etc.) are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act. They are entitled to the same legal protections and services as other students experiencing homelessness.
What are some identification strategies to locate displaced children and youth?
Collaboration and coordination with local relief agencies and emergency and disaster response teams are critical for identifying displaced children and youth.
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The answers are general responses based on federal statutes, regulations, and guidance; relevant case law; and best practices from across the country. .