The needs of homeless students are significant and varied. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act helps ensure homeless students can access a quality education. One of the key provisions is the requirement that all LEAs identify a liaison to be in charge of meeting the needs of homeless students. The purpose of this study was to understand the perceptions of district liaisons in regard to the needs of the homeless students they serve and the factors that facilitate and hinder their ability to meet these needs. The study was designed as a qualitative study relying primarily on interviews with 20 liaisons from a representative sample of districts in the state of Ohio.
The findings indicate that homeless students face a number of needs, including access to basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, and to social services including mental health services and drug treatment centers. Liaisons indicated that they played a less direct role in supporting students’ academic needs, instead relying on school-based staff members to support homeless students’ academic needs.
Liaisons identified a number of factors that facilitate and hinder their ability to meet the needs of their homeless students. The availability or lack of district resources like funding and personnel were especially important. In some districts, superintendents had prioritized hiring additional social or community workers. Liaisons indicated they relied a great deal on the support of these personnel. Further, the availability (or lack) of community-based service agencies greatly impacted liaisons’ work.
Finally, liaisons faced a number of competing demands that made their roles challenging. The vast majority of liaisons held another full-time role in the district, meaning they had limited time to devote to the role of liaison. Liaisons also indicated that navigating both community perceptions of homelessness (whether identified families were “truly” homeless or deserving of support) and the proper role of the school in the community were added challenges.
These findings suggest that additional personnel to help meet the needs of homeless students and greater coordination between schools and social service agencies would benefit both liaisons and the homeless students they serve.
|Commitee:||Ali, Arshad, Futrell, Mary, Glazer, Josh, Stone, Clarence|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|Department:||Education and Human Development|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Social work, Education Policy, Special education, Public health|
|Keywords:||District homeless liaisons, Federal education policy, Homeless students, McKinney-Vento Act, Ohio|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be