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at Advocates for Children

151 West 30th Street
5th Floor
New York, NY 10001

TEL 800.388.2014
FAX 212.807.6872

Frequently Asked Questions: Disaster Response

Are students who need to move from their home due to disaster covered by the McKinney-Vento Act?

Yes. The meaning of homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act is broad. It covers students who are doubling up with friends or family due to loss of housing, and also students in shelters, vehicles, and other temporary arrangements. Students who are displaced due to disaster are can continue to attend their school of origin or immediately enroll in a local school. Students in temporary housing can also receive transportation to and from their school of origin, and receive free/reduced meals and Title I services. 42 U.S.C. § 11434a(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii), 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(A), and 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(4)(B).

What kind of help is available for students who may have experienced trauma as a result of a disaster?

Because of the trauma linked with housing loss, and/or with a natural disaster, many students may benefit from counseling and other types of support. Students who are homeless due to a natural disaster are eligible for Title I services, including counseling. The McKinney-Vento liaison at the school district of attendance should ensure that the homeless youth receieves referrals to mental health and other services, where appropriate. 42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(6)(A)(iv). More information and resources addressing the impact of trauma and suggestions for trauma-sensitive strategies can be found in the Trauma-Sensitive Strategies for School Success page on our website.

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Workshops and Training Materials

Training and Workshop Materials