Identifying Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
California Department of education (CDE) Resources
CDE: Model Housing Questionnaire and Related Resources
Under California Education Code § 48851, local educational agencies (LEAs) must administer a housing questionnaire to all students annually to ensure the identification of children and youth experiencing homelessness. This questionnaire must include an explanation of the rights of students experiencing homelessness.
CDE model housing questionnaire: This CDE sample questionnaire can be used by LEAs as is, or customized to meet local needs.
CDE LEA Guidance for Completing the Model Housing Questionnaire: This CDE guidance provides additional information about the CDE model housing questionnaire and can be used to train and support staff with questionnaire implementation.
CDE Housing Questionnaire Frequently Asked Questions: This CDE resource addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) about California Education Code Section 48851 and the required implementation of a housing questionnaire.
CDE Housing Questionnaire: Legislation and Guidance (recorded webinar): This August 2023 CDE webinar reviews California Education Code requirements for LEAs to implement a housing questionnaire and shares additional information about questionnaire implementation. View the webinar recording. | Download webinar slides.
This poster provides public notice of basic homeless education information, including who qualifies as experiencing homelessness and the educational rights of eligible children and youth.
This HETAC tip sheet outlines state education department and school district responsibilities under federal and state law related to identifying children and youth experiencing homelessness, recommends implementation strategies to ensure an effective approach to identification, and shares resources for more information.
It Starts with Identification: Supporting Students with Unstable Housing (archived webinar)
This July 2022 HETAC webinar, cohosted by the Contra Costa County Office of Education and the National Center on Youth Law, explores the importance of identifying students experiencing homelessness, reviews local educational agency (LEA) identification responsibilities under federal and state law, and shares best practice for implementing an effective approach to identification within LEAs and schools.
While not required under federal or state law, distributing an end-of-year letter to students identified during the school year as McKinney-Vento eligible can be a useful identification strategy. This HETAC sample letter can be used by districts as is, or customized to meet local needs, for this purpose.
National Center for Homeless Education: Educational Rights Posters
These posters provide public notice of basic homeless education information, including who qualifies as experiencing homelessness and the educational rights of eligible children and youth. Available in parent (in English | in Spanish) and youth (in English | in Spanish) versions.
This National Center for Homeless Education webpage provides informational and practical resources on identifying children and youth experiencing homelessness.
This SchoolHouse Connection webpage recommends strategies and practical resources to use to ensure the identification of students experiencing homelessness during school closures that may occur due to a natural disaster, pandemic, or similar reason.
“Know Your Rights” flyers help spread the word about the rights of students experiencing homelessness, while also helping parents and youth understand how sharing their situation can increase access to and stability in school. Download, customize, and post these posters throughout the school or community to help spread awareness. Available in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
This SchoolHouse Connection webpage provides informational and practical resources on supporting unaccompanied homeless youth, including their access to education and other needed services and assistance.