Students experiencing homelessness may need extra assistance transitioning into the school year. School is often the one stable place where children who are homeless can interact with their peers, eat healthy meals, and feel safe. Students experiencing homelessness may be returning to school without the means to purchase new clothes, supplies, or books, among other challenges.
McKinney-Vento liaisons, teachers, guidance counselors and other providers working with youth must have an understanding of the challenges these students face – and the best ways to meet students’ needs. HRC has put together a list of ten resources to share best practices for improving services and programs to help meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness.
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)
- Facts About Homeless Education
This resource provides basic information on the number of children and youth experiencing homelessness, the definition of homelessness, and how homelessness affects the education of young people.
- Housing + High School = Success. Schools and Communities Uniting to House Unaccompanied Youth
This publication offers an overview of innovative housing programs and services to help unaccompanied youth complete secondary school and pursue higher education. Four different temporary housing models are highlighted and tools are provided to help readers create these programs in their communities.
National Center for Homeless Education
- A McKinney-Vento Toolbox: Constructing a Robust and Rigorous Homeless Education Program, in Case of Disaster and Every Day
This toolbox was developed following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes. Designed for school districts, these tools will help administrators fully implement the McKinney-Vento Act on a daily basis and also during times of disaster.
- Classrooms with Revolving Doors: Recommended Practices for Teachers of At-Risk and Highly Mobile Students
Elementary Schools and Middle Level and High School
These issue briefs highlight the challenges teachers face in addressing the needs of students experiencing homelessness. Based on research and case studies, both briefs offer recommendations to teachers working with highly mobile students.
- Collaborations of Schools and Social Service Agencies
This report analyzes examples of schools and social service agencies collaborating to assist children experiencing homelessness. Common barriers, service strategies, and innovative programs are all featured in this resource.
- Educating Homeless Children and Youth: Conducting Needs Assessments and Evaluating Services – A Guide for SEAs, LEAs, and Local Schools
This publication aims to help school district personnel strengthen current procedures for needs assessments, program evaluation, and data collection to improve homeless education programs.
- Homeless Education Issue Briefs
This series of briefs cover all aspects of the McKinney-Vento Act and implementation strategies.
National Runaway Switchboard
- Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum
This interactive curriculum focuses on educating about alternatives to running away and provides resources for runaways and those working with the runaway population.
Massachusetts Advocates for Children
- Helping Traumatized Children Learn: Supportive School Environments for Children Traumatized by Family Violence
This report examines how children exposed to family violence can be successful in school. With the proper support and environment, all children are able to learn. Teachers will find this resource useful when working with students who have experienced trauma.
The National Center on Family Homelessness
- What About You? A Workbook for Those Who Work with Others
Sometimes those who work with others can experience burnout and forget to take care of themselves. This workbook helps service providers focus on their own self-care, which is important to maintaining healthy relationships and a positive work environment.
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