McKinney-Vento Reauthorization - The National Association for the

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Transcript McKinney-Vento Reauthorization - The National Association for the

NAEHCY Annual Conference, October, 2012
Patricia Julianelle, Legal Director, [email protected]
Liz McGrath, Co-Director, Pegasus Legal Services for Children,
[email protected]
Not for the Faint of Heart
 Stephanie
 Brad
 Magdalena
 Age 15
 Ran away from home; “couldn’t get along with
 Refused to provide parents’ name or contact info
 Couch-surfing in your district
 High school enrolled immediately (hurray!)
 Mom called!
 Stephanie ran away to live with older boyfriend
 Demands disenrollment
 Preparing to sue
 Whose story is true, Stephanie’s or mother’s?
 School required to locate and contact parents?
 School required to report to child welfare?
 School required to report to the police?
 Harboring a runaway? Contributing
dependency or delinquency?
 Enrollment and strategies to prevent liability?
 What to do now?
Whose story is true?
 Why might Stephanie not tell the truth?
 Why might Stephanie’s mother not tell the
 Strategies to get to the bottom of the
Is the school required to locate and contact
parents when enrolling unaccompanied youth?
No; There is no law requiring schools to locate or
contact parents when enrolling unaccompanied
 School is the safest place for unaccompanied youth
to be.
If a parent contacts the school looking for child, the
school cannot lie about the child’s whereabouts.
 Confirm parent’s identity
 Talk to youth: are there safety issues?
Is the school required to contact child
welfare / child protective services when
enrolling unaccompanied youth?
 Not as a matter of course. (WI, NM)
 Educators must report suspected abuse and
 Homelessness alone does not qualify.
 Technically, child welfare should serve almost
all unaccompanied youth who are not being
cared for by a parent, legal guardian or kinship
 Do they? Do youth want that?
Is the school required to contact the police
when enrolling unaccompanied youth?
 No; Schools must eliminate barriers to
 Would you go somewhere if you thought
you’d be arrested there?
 “Protocol for Enrolling Unaccompanied Youth
in School: Whom Do We Call?”
Did the school “harbor a runaway” or
“contribute to dependency / delinquency”?
Harboring a runaway: Typical definition includes
providing shelter to a minor without parental consent or
notifying law enforcement.
Contributing to dependency or delinquency typically
requires some affirmative action against the child, such
as abusing a or severely neglecting a child, or criminal
Research has not found any case where enrolling and
serving an unaccompanied youth in school has been
considered harboring or contributing to
Immediate Enrollment under MV
Without a parent or guardian?
 Yes!
 Without other enrollment documents, such as school
records, immunizations, proof of residency, etc.?
 Yes!
 The McKinney-Vento Act requires immediate
enrollment of homeless children and youth. Lack of a
parent/guardian and/or enrollment documents
cannot delay or prevent enrollment.
 School districts must eliminate barriers to youth’s
enrollment in school.
What about parental disapproval and
school liability?
Liability is based on the concept of negligence, or a
failure to exercise reasonable care.
 Following federal law and providing appropriate
services are evidence of reasonable care.
 Violating federal law and denying services are
evidence of negligence.
 It’s always OK to enroll a student in school!
How to be Reasonable
Schools can check if students have been reported
missing at or 1-800-THE-LOST.
Schools can check lists of missing children (part of
many state’s laws)
Connect unaccompanied youth with school
counselors or social workers.
Talk with caregivers about their relationship to the
Talk to the youth!
And now what?
Assuming we have verified it was mother that called.
Should the school withdraw Stephanie?
Who in the school building, school district and
community could help?
Who should talk to Stephanie’s mother?
 What would you say?
Who should talk to Stephanie?
 What would you say?
 High school junior
 Parents kicked him out because he’s gay
 No contact with parents
 Staying at shelter
 High school enrolled immediately (hurray!)
 Bullying, needs mental health support
 Swim team
 Needs physical
 Coach willing to sign
 Can the coach consent for the physical? Can
Brad consent?
 Strategies to help Brad access medical care?
 Strategies to help Brad access mental health
 Can the coach consent for Brad to travel to
swim competitions?
Can the coach consent to the physical?
Can Brad? What about mental health?
Generally, only persons age 18 and over can consent
to their own medical, dental, and health care;
minors need consent of a parent or guardian.
State laws provide exceptions, commonly including:
 Emergency treatment
Substance abuse treatment (often with age limits)
Mental health services (often with age limits)
Pregnancy related care and care of the youth’s child
Contraception and care for STDs, including HIV (often with
age limits)
 Married/divorced and emancipated youth can consent
Medical and mental health consent (cont.)
Many states have general exceptions that apply to
unaccompanied youth
 Over a minimum age of 14 or 15 (AL, KS, OR, LA, SC)
 Youth living apart from their parents/guardians and
managing their own financial affairs (CA, CO, IN, ME,
 Any homeless youth (AZ)
 Mature minor doctrine: any person of ordinary
intelligence and awareness sufficient to comprehend
the need for, nature of and risks involved in medical
care is competent to consent (ID, AR, courts)
What if your state doesn’t allow consent?
Does Brad have a recent physical from a previous
school or health care provider?
Have parent sign a health care power of attorney
Phone consent of parent
If parents can’t be contacted, will a relative consent
(if state law allows)?
 Caregiver’s authorization affidavit
Health care for the Homeless providers
Liaison or other adult advocacy
What if your state doesn’t allow consent?
Visit the school counselor
Ask child welfare for help
Generally, any person relying in good faith on
representations re: identity, age, relationship will
not be held liable for providing care.
NAEHCY Unaccompanied Youth Toolkit
Center on Adolescent Health and the Law
Can Brad swim without the physical?
“The school … shall immediately enroll the homeless
child or youth, even if the child or youth is unable to
produce records normally required for enrollment,
such as previous academic records, medical records,
proof of residency, or other documentation.” 42 USC
“The terms ‘enroll’ and ‘enrollment’ include
attending classes and participating fully in school
activities.” 42 USC 11434a(1)
The answer: Yes.
 And be reasonable.
Can the coach consent to Brad’s travel?
 There is nothing to prevent it.
 Remember: Liability is based on negligence.
 What can the school do to establish
evidence of “reasonableness”?
 If the parent tells the school Brad cannot
travel with the team: Now we may have a
 17 years old, High school senior
 On her own, working, couch-surfing
 Searching for greater stability
 Housing
Can Magdalena apply for SNAP on her own?
There is no age minimum for SNAP; No parent
signature is required; and SNAP cannot be denied
due to lack of address or photo ID.
SNAP eligibility is based on the “household”.
If Magda purchases her own food and prepares her
own meals, she is her own household.
NAEHCY Unaccompanied Youth Toolkit
Can Magdalena apply for SNAP as part of
one of the families where she’s staying?
If Magda and the family purchase and prepare food
together, Magda can be added to their household
 It’s important for Magda and the family(s) to talk
about SNAP and how Magda’s application could
affect the household.
What information would help Magda decide
how to apply for SNAP?
Does she purchase and prepare food alone or as part
of a family?
How often does she stay with the family?
Is the family already receiving SNAP?
Considering her income and the size of the family,
how would Magda’s participation affect their
Does she move enough that she should apply on her
What are some housing ideas for
 Stabilize one of her host families
 Housing + High School = Success
 Housing programs for foster youth
 Was she ever in care?
 Does she have an open child welfare case?
 Can child welfare or other programs for current/former
foster youth be convinced to provide services?
 Transitional housing programs for youth
What are some housing ideas for
Magdalena? (cont.)
Rent an apartment (OR law)
 Stabilize her employment
 Offer her school credit for work
 Can school get her a bus pass to help with transportation?
Get her on SNAP
 College dorms
 Request a dorm that stays open year-round
 Apply to be resident advisor / dorm monitor
College work-study
Social Security Survivor Benefits
Social Security Survivor benefits are based on a
parent’s contributions to Social Security if:
1. The parent is disabled or retired and entitled to
Social Security benefits, or
2. The parent died after having worked long
enough in a job where he or she paid Social
Security taxes
 Unmarried youth are eligible to age 18, and up to 19
if a full-time high school student
 Even if not living with guardian
Can Magda get her SS Survivor Benefits in her
Yes! Prior to 18th birthday, direct payments can be
made to a youth if the youth is:
 Living alone and supporting himself or herself
 Capable of using the benefits to provide for his or her
current needs and no qualified payee is available
 Within 7 months of attaining age 18 and is initially filing an
application for benefits
 Other categories, as well
Benefits automatically transfer to youth on 18th
 NAEHCY Unaccompanied Youth Toolkit
What about SSI?
Monthly cash payment to individuals with disabilities
and limited income. Automatic Medicaid eligibility.
 Parents’ or guardians’ income counts only if the youth lives with
his or her parents.
Youth 16-18 may sign their own applications, if they:
 are mentally competent
 have no court appointed representative, and
 are not in the care of another person or institution.
For youth under age 16, a court appointed
representative, person caring for the youth, or
manager of an institution where the youth is residing
may sign the application.
What if Magdalena is undocumented?
Undocumented immigrants can apply to public
colleges and universities, except those in AL, GA and
No in-state tuition (except TX, CA, NY, UT, IL, WA,
NE, NM, OK, KS, MD, CT and RI)
State financial aid only in NM and TX
Some private scholarships are available
Educators for Fair Consideration
What if Magdalena is undocumented?
She may be eligible for legal immigration status
 Best to start before she turns 18!
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Immigration and Schools: Supporting Success for
Undocumented Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
ACLU’s Immigrant Services Directory: Public Resources for
Intake Referrals
Additional Resources
National Association for the Education of Homeless
Children and Youth
 National Center for Homeless Education; 1-800-308-2145
 National Network for Youth
 National Runaway Switchboard
; 1-800-621-4000
Additional Resources
Pegasus Legal Services for Children
 Trevor Project
 Stop Bullying
 It Gets Better Project