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Students Who are Homeless: A School Counselor's Response

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Julie Balderston

on 18 April 2011

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Transcript of Students Who are Homeless: A School Counselor's Response

Students Who Are Homeless:
A School Counselor's Response Definition Prevalence and Cultural
Considerations How does it happen? Activity One Repercussions
of Homelessness School Counselor's
Response The Pursuit of Happiness Reflection Questions Group One: Group Two: Group Three: What factors led to Chris Gardner and
his son to becoming homeless? If you were the son, what might you be
feeling when you are at school? If you were the school counselor at the son's school:
1. What potential signs would alert you that Chris
is experiencing homelessness?
2. Name one thing you could do for Chris? ASCA Position Statement
• Advocate for students and collaborate with their parents/guardians to reduce barriers related to school enrollment and academic success

• Establish educational and preventive programs for homeless parents and children

• Collaborate with school and community personnel, and coordinate appropriate support services

• Increase stakeholder awareness and understanding of the McKinney-Vento Act, and the rights of homeless students

• Advocate for appropriate educational placement Connecting to Resources Advocate, Lead, and Collaborate Stakeholder Awareness Appropriate Educational
Placement Break down misconceptions and biases
Provide awareness of issue, legislation and course of action (Stawser, et. al., 2000)
Train about needs and possible strengths of population
Encourage immersion experiences ex: family interview, attending neighborhood gathering, visit shelters
Encourage teachers to have high expectations of all students
Provide multi-cultural competency training (Grothaus, et. al., 2011) Understanding the
McKinney-Vento Act Enroll immediately
Advocate for students' needs
Attempt to get records from previous school over phone or electronically
Collaborate with classroom teachers
Contact parents to find out what services student was receiving at previous school
(Stawser, et. al., 2000) Group/Individual Counseling Academic skills
Problem solving skills
Social skills
Self-esteem Economic hardship
Fire or natural disaster
Domestic violence
Loss of employment
Addiction disorder
Lack of affordable housing
(National Coalition, 2009b) Students Who are Homeless Low school attendance: 87% of homeless youth are enrolled in school, of those, only 77% attend school regularly (National Coalition, 2009a)
"Nine times more likely to repeat a grade, four times more likely to drop out of school, and three times more likely to be placed in special education programs than their housed peers" (National Coalition, 2009a) Activity Two References Classroom Guidance
http://www.naehcy.org Resources http://www.norfolk.gov/homelessness/partnership.asp Homeless Children and Youth Enrolled in VA
11,776 (SY07-08)
12,768 (SY08-09)
14,223 (SY09-10)
68.8% live doubled-up
17.2% live in shelters
11.2% live in hotels/motels
(http://nchespp.serve.org/profile/VA) A child or youth that lacks a "fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence" and has a current residence in:
sharing someone else's housing
motels, hotels, or camp grounds
emergency or transitional shelters
abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care
in cars, parks, public places, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train station
migratory children may qualify
a public or private space not designed for sleeping (National Coalition, 2009b) Stigmatized, poor health and nutrition, lack proper health care
Hunger, short attention span, anxiety, withdrawal, aggressive behaviors
Sleep disorders, poor social interaction, developmental delays
Depression, low self-esteem "Through it all, school is probably the only thing that has kept me going. I know that every day that I walk in those doors, I can stop thinking about my problems for the next six hours and concentrate on what is most important to me.”
-Formerly Homeless Student
(http://center.serve.org/nche/web/s_p.php Parents and Community Members Staff Training Interagency Case Management Team Made up of representatives from various community agencies ex: pediatrician, health services, shelter, temporary housing assistance
Gives the PSC ability to provide information immediately when requested
PSC should keep strong relationships with community agencies

(Stawser, et. al., 2000) Provide training similar to training for staff, education on issue, risk factors, and effect on children and school community
Educate on homeless prevention services, ex: Homeless Intervention Program (HIP) provides temporary rent assistance (http://www.dhcd.virginia.gov)
Parenting classes
Provide references for community agencies and services (Stawser, et. al., 2000) Be creative with this!
Use movies and books
Budgeting exercise
Provide awareness of issue and cultural sensitivity
Structured problem solving skills
Social skills training "Stop and Think" (Baggery & Borkowski, 2004) What Does "Homeless" Mean?
Snack closet or clothes closet, school supply, or a food drive for school breaks when children will not be receiving meals at school

Offer services to all students to avoid stigmatization

Communicate and collaborate with school district liaison (Stawser, et. al., 2000)

Many shelters are closed until 5pm make sure all students have equal access to after school programs

Lead school staff and community members to create a systemic plan to meet needs of student experiencing homelessness (Baggerly &Borkowski, 2004)

School/family collaboration in the school building through mentoring and tutoring (Grothaus et. al., 2011) Remember those strong relationships!
Have a printed resource list available with directions using public transportation
Visit the shelters personally to understand their services (Stawser, et. al., 2000) If the McKinney-Vento Act was not in existence, a lot of our children would’ve fallen through the cracks because of policy. Kids would’ve been turned away for not having records, even though we knew their records were under water. —Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas (Office of Elementary., 2007) Every child has a right to public education
Remove barriers to education-paper work, immunization, residency requirements, guardianship, transportation
Best interest of child
School of origin or new school
(Stawser, et. al., 2000) Julie Balderston “The hardest were kids with special needs, because we basically had to go by what the parents said, and we put emergency IEPs [Individual Education Programs] in place the day that the children arrived at the building. And then we went back and did full IEPs with the parents. Also, some parents came in with special education students and didn’t tell us, because they didn’t want their children receiving those services." —Santa Rosa County School District, Milton, Fl (Office of Elementary,2007)
Resolve conflicts, manage crises, make sense of world, improve self concept
Reduce behavioral problems and anxiety
(Baggerly & Borkowski, 2004) Play Therapy Choice Theory No research for specific population
Emphasis on what students can do themselves
Educate on principles: belonging, power, freedom, and fun
Use modeling, role, play, and homework
Include parents in the education (Shillingford, 2008) http://center.serve.org/nche online resource with a wealth of information online resource with some great training and videos (list of community agencies in the Hapton Roads area) Baggerly, J., & Borkowski, T. (2004). Applying the ASCA national model to elementary school students who are homeless: A case study. Journal of Professional School Counseling, 8, 116-123.

Grothaus, T., Lorelle, S., Anderson, K., & Knight, J. (2011). Answering the call: Facilitating responsive services for students experiencing homelessness. Professional School Counseling, 14(3), 191-201.

National Coalition for the Homeless. (2009a). Education of homeless children and youth. Retrieved from http://www. nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/education.pdf

National Coalition for the Homeless. (2009b). Who is homeless? Retrieved from http://www. nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Whois.pdf

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (ED), W. C. (ED), Washington, DC., & National Center for Homeless Education, G. C. (2007). In their own words: Schools and students overcoming adversity. US Department of Education.

Shillingford, M., & Edwards, O. W. (2008). Professional school counselors using choice theory to meet the needs of children of prisoners. Professional School Counseling, 12(1), 62.

Strawser, ,., Markos, P. A., Yamaguchi, B. J., & Higgins, K. (2000). A new challenge for school counselors: Children who are homeless. Professional School Counseling, 3(3), 162.

90% of homeless families headed by single female parent
50% of women escaping abuse
42% of homeless children are under the age of 5 Sheltered homeless population is estimated to be:
42 % African-American, 38 % White, 20 % Hispanic (National Coalition, 2009b)
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