Every school district must designate a homeless liaison for children and youth experiencing homelessness.
The McKinney-Vento Act requires liaisons to ensure that “homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordination with other entities and agencies.” The purpose of identification is to offer appropriate services to the family, child, or youth. Coordination with schools and community agencies is an essential identification strategy, as are professional development, awareness, and training activities within school buildings, school districts, and the community.
The McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children and youth as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. The term includes children and youth who are:
- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reasons
- living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds
- living in emergency or transitional shelters
- living in a primary night-time residence not used as a regular sleeping accommodation
- living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings and/or
- migratory children living in any of the circumstances described above.