Uninterrupted Educational Access and Stability for Homeless Children and Youth Final Recommendations

Uninterrupted Educational Access and Stability for Homeless Children and Youth Final Recommendations

 

COMMISSION ON HOMELESSNESS AND POVERTY

STEERING COMMITTEE ON THE UNMET LEGAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN

COMMISSION ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

COMMISSION ON MENTAL AND PHYSICAL DISABILITY LAW

 

RECOMMENDATION


RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports policies to help assure uninterrupted educational access and stability for homeless children and youth as well as children and youth placed by public agencies in out-of-home settings.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That, to assure such children and youth in temporary out-of-home settings have uninterrupted educational access, the American Bar Association calls upon the United States Department of Education to provide an interpretation of "awaiting foster care placement" under Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. §§11431 et seq.) that will include children and youth placed by public agencies in interim, emergency, or short-term placements.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That, to assure such children and youth in temporary out-of-home settings have uninterrupted educational access, the American Bar Association calls upon the United States Department of Education to provide an interpretation of "awaiting foster care placement" under Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act (42 U.S.C. §§11431 et seq.) that will include children and youth placed by public agencies in interim, emergency, or short-term placements.
 
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States Congress to enact legislation amending the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the United States Department of Education to promulgate regulations, to ensure children and youth with disabilities, including both homeless children and youth as well as children and youth who are in public agency custody, have prompt access to appropriate and timely special education and related services.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the United States Congress and the Department of Education, and state and local education agencies, to:

a) Implement recommendations from the 2003 White House Task Force for Disadvantaged Youth calling for creation of programs to improve the quality of education for children and youth who are in public agency custody, for the establishment of a federal advocate and interagency committee on the education of foster children and youth, and for state and local education system demonstration programs and interagency collaborations on improving school access for these children and youth;

b) Improve child find, expedited assessments and appropriate special education services for children and youth with disabilities who are homeless or are in public agency custody, both in child welfare and juvenile justice custody, and enhance the prompt assignment of “surrogate parents” (which may include suitable foster parents), where appropriate, appointed under the IDEA to protect their educational rights; and

c) Enforce federal law, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §675(1)(C), that encourages child welfare agencies to give adults caring for children and youth in out-of-home settings up-to-date educational records on those in their care, when available, and encouraging each case plan to include names and addresses of educational providers, grade level performance, the school record, and any other relevant education information, and that provisions are made to assure that their placement takes into account proximity to the school in which they were enrolled at the time of placement.

FURTHER RESOLVED , That the American Bar Association calls upon lawyers, judges and leaders of the organized bar to address factors that may be impeding uninterrupted educational access of children and youth who are homeless as well as children and youth in residential, foster, and kinship care, or that may be inhibiting prompt provision of appropriate education services, including special education services where needed. These legal system professionals should work closely with state and local education agencies to help assure that policies promote, rather than inhibit, such uninterrupted educational access.

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