The Roles of the Homeless Program Staff
The program has many staff positions, each of which plays a key role in in success.The District Homeless Liaison oversees the activities of the staff that includes home school liaisons, school social workers, a parent educator, certified teachers, and a transportation coordinator. She determines eligibility and ensures the educational rights of homeless students.REACH Homeless Liaisons are assigned as the contacts for shelters and are available to help students enroll in school. Because of their close contact with families enrollment is often completed within 1 day of initial intake. Besides the enrollment procedures, the home school liaisons also assess/implement transportation when necessary. When transportation is set up, they inform the families and school contacts of the necessary information. They also help coordinate early childhood screenings for homeless preschoolers to ensure registration in kindergarten. Each parent is given a packet of information that explains all early childhood educational offerings in the district and community including Head Start, School Readiness, Community Kindergarten and application information on Early Kindergarten.
Social Workers in the program help achieve our program goals of enrollment, attendance and academic achievement. Currently, there are two full time school social workers in the Title I homeless program. These social workers provide outreach assistance in information and referral for housing, mental health, medical assistance, legal consultation, basic needs, social services, child protection and transportation, as well as assist in attendance and enrollment of homeless students. This position conducts an assessment of family needs to advocate for special education services when appropriate.The Transportation Coordinator is the primary contact with the district transportation department and helps streamline the out of district transportation requests. She also coordinates the transportation of homeless students residing in emergency foster care.
Under the guidance of an Evening Academic Coordinator, highly qualified licensed teachers and social workers provide tutoring at shelter sites after school in the evenings. Literacy and math enrichment programs compliment the classroom curriculum by leading kids through a wide range of activities that are challenging and engaging. The evening enrichment coordinator guides the instructional staff with district curriculum and aligns lessons and activities to help youth meet the K-12 district, state, and national standards.