The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. In San Diego County there are an estimated 18,000 homeless children and youth. The San Diego County Office of Education's Student Services and Programs Division, Student Support Services Department provides support and resources to the 42 school districts in the county, JCCS and county-wide charter schools to implement McKinney-Vento. Technical assistance and training is available to the district homeless liaisons and other staff who are involved in working with homeless children and youth. The Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services Program Manager serves as the County Liaison for purposes of appeals before appealing to the California Department of Education (CDE). A menu of written material is available on-line for districts to utilize. Parent letters, a brochure, resource guide and affidavit forms may be downloaded.
The term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:
- Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement
- Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private 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, or
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above