Homeless Liaison

Unaccompanied Youth Toolkits

The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY)has developed three unaccompanied youth toolkits. Each Toolkit contains a wealth of information about supporting unaccompanied youth in school and out, with a special focus on helping unaccompanied youth complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for aid for higher education.

The Toolkits consist of 1-2 page briefs on a variety of topics, including:

  • Protocol for Enrolling Unaccompanied Youth in School: Whom Do We Call?
  • Unaccompanied Youth Identification Checklist and Tools to launch an identification event in schools and shelters (“MV-FAFSA Week”)
  • The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act Basics
  • FAFSA Basics and Practical Tips
  • Access to Services Tip Sheets (Medicaid, TANF, Social Security, SNAP, shelter)

Each Toolkit is designed for a special audience that often does not receive the information they need to be full partners in serving unaccompanied youth.
Click on the links below to access the each of the toolkits:

High School Counselors and McKinney-Vento Liaisons
Shelters and Service Providers
College and University Financial Aid Administrators

Statutory Language and Summary, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015)

Statutory Language and Summary on Homelessness and Foster Care in
“The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015”

This document provides the statutory language of the major amendments on homelessness and foster care in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA strengthens and improves the education of over 1.3 million children and youth experiencing homelessness, from early childhood through high school graduation, as well as establishing protections for students in foster care through a statutory vehicle that is separate from the McKinney-Vento Act.

FAFSA Application and Verification Guide (AVG)

The AVG provides information to college financial aid administrators and counselors who help students with the process of seeking federal student aid for post-secondary education. Unaccompanied homeless youth (UHY) are considered independent students for purposes of applying for federal student aid. This means that UHY do not need to include a parent signature or information… Read more »

Students Living with Caregivers: Tips for Local Liaisons and School Personnel

Each year, thousands of students stay with someone who serves as a caregiver, instead of living with a parent or legal guardian. The caregiver may be a relative, friend, school employee, or other individual. Some caregivers provide little to no support for youth staying with them, while others, especially with younger children, often assume more responsibility – even obtaining legal guardianship in some cases.

Dispute Resolution (McKinney-Vento Law)

Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. § 11431 et seq.; hereafter the McKinney-Vento Act), reauthorized in 2015 by Title IX, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act, guarantees educational rights and supports for students experiencing homelessness. The Act requires State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs; commonly referred… Read more »