The Tools You Need

Family Resources

Education of Homeless Children and Youth (McKinney-Vento Information)

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act are two pieces of federal legislation designed to ensure that homeless students receive educational opportunities. Homeless children and youth must have equal access to the same educational opportunities and services as non-homeless children and youth. In addition, homeless children and youth must have the opportunity to meet the same challenging academic achievement standards to which all students are held.

What is the definition of homeless children and youth?

The term “homeless child and youth” means:

  • Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence; and includes children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelter (including DC transitional housing); are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above; and
  • Unaccompanied youth, including youth who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, who qualify as homeless because they live in circumstances described above.

What services are provided by the Homeless Children and Youth Program?

The Homeless Children and Youth Program provides the following services: transportation assistance; dispute resolution; emergency school enrollment assistance; special projects; Homeless Awareness Month; staff development; and inter-agency collaboration.