Education for Homeless Children & Youth

  • The Delaware Department of Education and Delaware schools adhere to the provisions of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act which aims to minimize the educational disruptions experienced by students who are experiencing homelessness.

    Under McKinney-Vento, homeless students are guaranteed the right to a free, appropriate, public education. When students become homeless, they can remain enrolled in the schools they have been attending, although they might no longer meet residency requirements. McKinney-Vento also guarantees homeless students the right to enroll in a public school even if they lack the typically required documents and immunizations. In addition, homeless students are guaranteed the transportation they need to attend school.

    According to McKinney-Vento, "homeless" can be defined as an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth:

    • Sharing housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship
    • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate housing
    • Living in emergency or transitional housing
    • Abandoned in hospitals
    • Awaiting foster care
    • Having a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations
    • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
    • Migratory students meeting the descriptions above

    The following signs may indicate homelessness:

    • Lack of continuity in education
    • Poor health/nutrition
    • Transportation and attendance problems
    • Poor hygiene
    • Lack of privacy/personal space after school
    • Social and behavioral concerns
    • Reactions/statements by parent, guardian or child
  • State Coordinator for Homeless Education

    John H. Hulse

    Education Associate, 21st CCLC and Title I Programs
    Delaware Department of Education
    Collette Education Resource Center
    35 Commerce Way, Suite 1
    Dover, DE 19904
    302.735.4100 (T) 302.739.3092 (F)