Clarification of the Factor
Homelessness of the child’s family. (22-28-106 (1) (a.5) (II) C.R.S.).
According to the McKinney-Vento Act, a homeless individual is one who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence which includes children and families who:
- Share housing with friends or other families due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason
- Live in motels, hotels, or campgrounds because they have no permanent housing
- Live in emergency or transitional shelters like safe houses
- Live on the streets, in parks, in abandoned buildings, or other accommodations unfit for habitation.
How It May Be Documented
- Address records
- Parent report (please note that parents often do not report homelessness due to embarrassment and fear.)
- Results of parent interviews indicating unstable housing situations (doubling up, cramped housing, moving in with family and friends, etc).
- Social Services or agency referral
Significance of Factor in regards to School Readiness
- Children in unstable housing situations are at higher risk for poor nutrition and chronic health problems.
- Homeless children are more than twice as likely as other children to exhibit signs of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems. They also are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to perform below grade level in reading, spelling, and math.
- Families with children are by most accounts among the fastest growing segments of the homeless population. In the recent economic downturn, school districts across the nation have reported a significant jump in their homeless student populations. Schools are a vital setting in which to provide stability and safety to homeless children.
If you need assistance with determining homelessness, contact your school district’s homeless coordinator.
A statewide index is located here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprevention/homeless_liaisons.htm
Duffield, B. & Lovell, P. (December, 2008). The economic crisis hits home: The unfolding increase in child and youth homelessness.National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from http://www.naehcy.org/dl/TheEconomicCrisisHitsHome.pdf
Rubin, H., Erickson, J., San Agustin, M., Cleary, D., Allen, J. K., & Cohen, P. (1996). Cognitive and academic functioning of homeless children compared with housed children. Pediatrics, 93, 289-294.
National Coalition for the Homeless. (June 2008). Education of Homeless Children and Youth. NCH Fact Sheet #10. Retrieved July 9, 2009, from http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/education.html