• What is considered Homeless:

    • Federal guidelines states that Homeless children may be found in these places or situations:
    • With a parent in a domestic violence shelter;
    • Public or private shelters.
    • Transitional housing programs;
    • Public or private places not designated for, or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations such as; vehicles, parks, hotels/motels, campgrounds, etc.;
    • Individuals and/or families staying with relatives or friends due to lack of housing;
    • Living in transitional housing programs.
    • Runaways, (under 18 years of age), and children or youth who have been abandoned or forced out of their homes by parents or other caretakers. These   children may be in temporary shelters awaiting assistance from social service agencies, live alone on the street, or may be moving from place to place among family members, friends or acquaintances;
    • This also includes such youth from 18 through 21 years of age who may still be eligible for educational services in regular or special education.
    • Children of migrant families who lack adequate housing
    • Children abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care.
    • School-age, unwed mothers or expectant mothers living in housed for unwed mothers when they have no other available living accommodations.

     

    What is considered foster care youth (in regards to the new ESSA provisions):

    • The requirements for ensuing educational stability for children in foster care apply to all children in foster care enrolled in schools in the State Education Agency (SEA/LEAs).
    • Consistent with the Fostering Connections Act, “foster care” means 24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the child welfare agency has placement and care responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and preadoptive homes.
    • A child is in foster care in accordance with this definition regardless of whether the foster care facility is licensed and payments are made by the State, Tribal or local agency for the care of the child, whether adoption subsidy payments are being made prior to the finalization of an adoption, or whether there is Federal matching of any payments that are made. 

     

    Rights of Homeless and Foster care Children & Youth Include:

    • Continuing their education in their current school, and provide transportation to that school, (if feasible);
    • Immediate enrollment in the school district where they are temporarily housed;
    • Assistance with obtaining school records       
    • Participation in all applicable school programs, including supplementary instructional programs, field trips, and other enrichment activities as well as after-school recreational programs, etc.;
    • Assistance with school-related expenses, such as: supplies, clothing, uniforms, meals, etc.

     

     The Pennsylvania Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program (PA ECYEH Program), assures execution of the federal legislation, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1988; also incorporated into the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Implementation of this   program ensures that homeless children and youth have equal access to the same, free, appropriate, public education; including preschool education, as provided to other children and youth.

    Some of the main objectives of the PA ECYEH Program are to inform local school districts of their responsibilities to homeless children and youth, to increase awareness about the needs of homeless children , reveal and overcome possible educational barriers, explain current legislation and policies, and provide practical tips for working with homeless children. 

     

    Each school district in the United States has a designated Homeless Liaison. This person is responsible for assuring that each homeless child or youth receives all the services guaranteed by federal law.

    Blacklick Valley School District— Homeless Liason

    Maribeth Dorsch, Elementary Counselor

    Phone: 814-749-9211 x 437

    Email: mdorsch@bvsd.k12.pa.us

     

    In addition, Pennsylvania is served by eight regional PA ECYEH Programs that cover all     counties and school districts in the state. 

    Contact may also be made to:

     

    Andrea Sheesley

    Regional Coordinator

    Phone: 724-463-5300 x1235

    E-Mail: asheesley@iu28.org