McKinney-Vento (Homelessness) & Foster Care
Sharrah Pharr, Ph.D.
Director of Federal Programs & Grants
District McKinney-Vento Liaison
District Foster Care Liaison
Main District Phone: (512) 268-2141, ext. 45044
Direct Office Phone: (512) 268-8540
Foster Care – The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, Public Law 110-351 requires state child welfare agencies to collaborate with their state and local education agencies to promote school stability and improve educational outcomes for children in foster care. Students in foster care are categorically eligible for all U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) child nutrition programs. Caregivers for children and youth in foster care do not have to complete a separate application to participate in these programs
Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized by Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, ensures educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Homelessness is a lack of permanent housing resulting from extreme poverty, or, in the case of unaccompanied youth, the lack of a safe and stable living environment.
The term “homeless children and youth”—
(A) Means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence …; and
(i) children and youths 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 the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters or are abandoned in hospitals.
(ii) children and youths 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 …
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
If you are experiencing homelessness or have students in Foster Care, there are resources that can be provided to you. Please visit with your campus counselor for specific supplemental resources available to students that are identified as eligible for McKinney-Vento Services or Foster Care Services.
Additional resources for both McKinney-Vento and Foster Care include:
- Family Resource Guide for the San Marcos area and Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee and Hays Counties. This resource provides information regarding topics such as: Basic Needs (food, clothing, financial help, housing, shelters), Community (public libraries and recreation centers), Employment, Health/Mental Support, Transportation, etc.
- Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) – Foster and MKV Updates
- FAQs on the Education Rights of Children and Youth in Homeless Situations
Texas Homeless Education Office (UT Dana Center)
Texas Foster Youth Organization
- Texas Foster Care Justice Project This resource provides free and confidential legal assistance to current foster youth and those who have aged out of foster care.
- Texas Foster Youth Justice Project Brochure
- Tuition Waiver for College
- A Guide for Those Aging Out of Foster Care in Texas
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
Texas Education Association (TEA)