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Meeting the Educational Needs of Student Displaced by Disasters: Youth on Their Own
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During the course of a natural disaster or similar emergency, youth, may be separated form their parents or guardians. After the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, for example, may youth were evacuated without their parents or guardians and sent to different locations, leaving the youth alone in the care of relief agencies. Other youth were on their own for a vareity of reasons before the storms and remained so afterwards. For all these youth, school can be the most stable and secure environment, offering structure and resources to help overcome the traumas they have experienced and helping to regain their academic, social, and emotional footing. Yet without a parent or guardian to advocate for them and exercise parental rights, these youth may face unique barriers to accessing education and related supports services. Fortunately, federal education law the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (Subtitle B- Education for homeless Children and Youth), reauthorized as Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act, ensures educational protections for youth who are homeless and unaccompanied. This document explains key aspects of the law and provides strategies for implementation. (NCHE)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services