McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Education and Foster Youth Program

McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Assistance Program

CDE: McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Services

Rights of Youth Under McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Assistance Act

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education. 

  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment. 

  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents. 

  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is in the best interest of the student and is feasible. 

  • If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide a written explanation of its position and inform student/parent(s) of the right to appeal its decision. Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if requested. 

  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs.


You are guaranteed enrollment in school of residence or school of origin (the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled) by the federal McKinney-Vento Act and California state law if you live:
  • In a shelter (family, domestic violence, or youth shelter or transitional living program)

  • In a motel, hotel, or weekly rate housing

  • In a house or apartment with more than one family because of economic hardship or loss

  • In an abandoned building, in a car, at a campground, or on the street

  • In temporary foster care or with an adult who is not your parent or guardian

  • In substandard housing (without electricity, water, or heat)

  • With friends or family because you are a runaway or an unaccompanied youth


Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the term homeless children and youth means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This definition also includes:

  • Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason

  • Children who may be living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, shelters, or awaiting foster care placement

  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings

  • Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings, or

  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are children who are living in similar circumstances listed above


For the complete guide on the rights of youth under the McKinney-Vento Act visit:

  1. Education of Homeless Children & Youth The Guide to Their Rights, or 

  2. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act


NEED HELP or ASSISTANCE - Call the district's McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Liaison
Program Administrator, McKinney-Vento and Foster Youth
Adela Cruz, LCSW, PPS
501 Crescent Way, Anaheim, CA 92801
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Foster Youth Program

CDE: Foster Youth Services

AB490: Questions and Answers (Q&A)

Source: Foster Youth Connection - Rights of Youth Under AB490

Assembly Bill 490 (2003) created new rights and duties related to the education of dependents and wards in foster care. Some of these rights and duties have been expanded by later laws, including AB 81 (2009), AB 12 (2010), SB 1353 (2010), AB 1933 (2010), and the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110- 351). Many of the obligations placed on local educational agencies by these laws also apply to charter schools participating in a special education local plan area. EC § 48859(c).

You have these rights:

  • If you are moved, you have the right to stay in your old school for the rest of the school year if that is best for you. If there’s any disagreement, you have the right to stay in your old school until it is worked out.
  • If you are moved, the school must allow you to start school right away, even if you don’t have your grades, your shot records or needed supplies like a uniform.
  • You should not lose credits when you move. Your new school must take whole or part credits from your old schools, even if you earned those credits in a group home school, a court school or an alternative school.
  • Your grade can not be marked down when you are absent to go to court, court ordered visits (like with your family, social worker or therapist) or to move to a new home.



NEED HELP or ASSISTANCE: You may call the district's Foster Youth Liaison. Please see contact information listed below. 
Program Administrator, McKinney-Vento and Foster Youth
Adela Cruz, LCSW, PPS
501 Crescent Way, Anaheim, CA 92801
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.