McKinney-Vento & Foster Care

Is your child or someone you know currently experiencing homelessness or displacement? Contact Melissa Acevedo or the Cartwright Center for Strong Families and Thriving Children at 623-691-1994.



The McKinney-Vento Act

The McKinney-Vento Act is a federal law that protects and provides for children and youth who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and these circumstances are due to economic hardship or loss of housing. This includes families or unaccompanied youth living: temporarily with family or friends (doubled up), in a shelter, motel/hotel, car, campsite, park, tent, or other places not ordinarily considered a living space.

The purpose of the law is to protect the educational rights of homeless children and to remove any barriers that may be preventing them from receiving a quality education. 

Children have a right to stay in the school they were attending when they became homeless/displaced. Transportation costs are shared by the two districts: the school in attendance and the school district of residence. With McKinney Vento law, children do not need to lose their home school once the family becomes homeless/displaced.

The full text of the law can be found here


Foster Care

Children in foster care should remain in the school they attended before entering foster care or before a placement change (school of origin).

The transportation of a child in foster care, to their school of origin, is a shared responsibility between the LEA (public school district or public charter) and the CWA (child welfare agency).

The only reason a child in foster care would have to change schools is that it is in their best interest to go to a new school.

If it is in the best interest of a child in foster care to go to a new school, the new school would need to immediately enroll that child, even though relevant paperwork.

The full text of the law can be found here.

Please contact Melissa Acevedo for questions regarding Foster Care or McKinney Vento resources and eligibility guidelines. She can be reached at 623-691-1984, or contact the Cartwright Center for Strong Families and Thriving Children directly at 623-691-1994. 


Please feel free to dial 211 or visit to get directly connected to community resources statewide. 

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