Foster care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by States for children who cannot live with their families. Children in foster care may live with relatives or with unrelated foster parents. Foster care can also refer to placement settings such as group homes, residential care facilities, emergency shelters, and supervised independent living.
Homeless and Foster Youth
Oxnard School District Liaison for Homeless and Foster Youth
Dr. Jodi Nocero, Director of Pupil Services
805-385-1501 X 2161
Oxnard School District Community Liaison
Students in Foster Youth Care
Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness
What are the legal protections for homeless children?
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law, passed in 1987 and re-authorized in 2015, that guarantees certain rights for homeless children, regardless of whether they’re homeless for a week or years. The law requires schools and districts to provide homeless youth “equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.”
The law means that homeless children do not have to re-register at a different school every time they move, and districts must provide transportation to school regardless of where a homeless child is living. For example, if a child is living in a shelter in San Francisco but attending school in San Jose, the San Jose district must provide transportation to school every day.
Some districts do more than what’s required by law, by providing free backpacks, school supplies and hygiene items; keeping schools open late so students have a quiet, safe place to study; hiring social workers to help families find housing and navigate services; contracting with food banks and other nonprofits so families have access to the necessities and providing extra tutoring and academic counseling to homeless students.
Eligibility: Under the McKinney-Vento Act, who is considered homeless?
The law defines homelessness as living:
- “doubled up,” or sharing housing with another family due to economic hardship.
- in a motel, hotel, campground, shelter, car, park, abandoned building or other sub-standard housing
- without a fixed, regular, adequate nighttime residence.
Enrollment for McKinney / Vento Program
Families experiencing conditions of homelessness, should contact the District's Community Liaison, Alfredo Gutierrez, at 805-385-1501 x2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to enroll in the program.
School Stability - Right to "School of Origin"
School stability under the McKinney-Vento Act means a student’s right to continue attending his/her school of origin regardless of their area of residency.
• School of origin is defined as the school that the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.
• School districts must keep a student experiencing homelessness in his or her school of origin, to the extent feasible, unless it is against the wishes of the parent or guardian.
• The student may remain in their school of origin for the duration of homelessness. He or she may also remain in their school of origin for the remainder of any academic year in which he or she becomes permanently housed.
• If a student is sent to a school other than one requested by a parent or guardian, the district must provide a written explanation to the parent or guardian of its decision and of his or her right to appeal.
Students experiencing homelessness also have the choice to enroll in the local school serving students in the attendance area where they are currently spending their nights. District homeless liaisons are responsible for assisting unaccompanied youth in making the decision on which school to attend and enrolling in school. Liaisons and school staff working with families can help make sure that they know about the impact of school mobility and the right of the student to attend their school of origin.