DV & Homelessness

DV & Homelessness - MCKINNEY-VENTO 2001 LAW INTO...

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1 MCKINNEY-VENTO 2001 – LAW INTO PRACTICE Domestic Violence, Homelessness, and Children’s Education Background and Info Domestic violence was named as a primary cause of homelessness in nine of the 25 cities surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2003. 1 Anecdotal accounts from legal service providers and other advocates support these statistics, suggesting that a disproportionate number of women who seek emergency shelter—often with their children—do so because they are fleeing immediate or very recent experiences of domestic or sexual violence. 2 In fact, in some regions of the country, nearly one-third of all homeless women are homeless at least in part due to domestic abuse. 3 Children and youth who flee violent homes with a parent survivor and who become homeless as a result face many barriers. Young people who flee violent homes are at heightened risk for emotional and behavioral problems. 4 They may be more likely than their peers to experience or to participate in emotional or physical abuse themselves. 5 These effects can have a pronounced impact on children’s adjustment in school, including their ability to learn and their concentration levels . 6 In addition to the consequences of violence, homelessness itself has a devastating impact on children’s health and development. For example, students experiencing homelessness tend to suffer from: Poor nutrition 7 Inadequate health care 8 Health problems associated with overcrowded and communal living situations 9 Increased incidence of other health impairments 10 Higher exposure to violence 11 Severe emotional stress 12 Homelessness often leads to frequent moving and upheaval, which eliminate the feelings of safety, stability, and predictability that are so important for healthy growth . A stable school experience can help ease some of the effects of domestic violence and homelessness on children. Schools offer many important benefits, including safety, predictability, a sense of normalcy, adult and peer support, meals, basic medical and mental health services, and extracurricular activities. Schools also can connect families to other resources and supports available in the community. However, schools and service providers must work together to ensure safety and confidentiality for children and their parents who are fleeing domestic violence. Who is covered? (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001 – Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act – Sec 725) The term “homeless children and youth”— (A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence…; and (B) includes — (i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
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DV & Homelessness - MCKINNEY-VENTO 2001 LAW INTO...

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