Families in Transition


International Leadership of Texas Families in Transition (FiT) office is dedicated to support children and youth who qualify as homeless per definition of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The FiT Coordinator provides leadership and direction with processes designed to identify and support children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  By this, we want to ensure all students have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and to reach proficiency on state testing standards.


Circumstances of students and families facing residency transition vary greatly from one situation to the next. Determining the extent to which the child or youth fits McKinney-Vento’s definitions requires careful consideration and care. Children and youth in homeless situations often do not fit society’s stereotypical images of homelessness. Often, residency transition is accompanied by poverty, stress, and instability. Yet for students experiencing homelessness, school provides stability, support, and hope for the future.  ILTexas is committed to be ever diligent with identifying and supporting students who qualify for McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act support.


In 1986, the Homeless Persons’ Survival Act was introduced in both houses of Congress. This act contained emergency relief measures, preventive measures, and long-term solutions to the expanding diversity of homelessness. However, only portions of the original proposal were enacted into law.

Over the span of a decade, Congress adopted additional provisions requiring states to:

  • ensure that all homeless children have the same right to a free and appropriate public education as non-homeless children.

  •  review and undertake steps to revise residency requirements for school attendance to ensure that homeless children did not experience delays with school enrollment.


On January 8, 2002 the McKinney-Vento Education Assistance Improvements Act in the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law.  The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) strengthened and improved these programs and consequently the education of over 1.3 million children and youth experiencing homelessness, from early childhood through high school graduation. The amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act went into effect on October 1, 2016.


McKinney-Vento Act definition of homelessness for children and youth includes:

i. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;

ii. children and youths who are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

iii. children and youths who are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;

iv. children and youths 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;

v. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

vi. migratory children…who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this program because the children are living in circumstances described above.


Briefs on additional homeless education topics are available at https://nche.ed.gov/briefs.php


Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Students who fit this description face a wider variety of needs than other students who do not fit this category. In addition to direct educational services, homeless students and their families often need other assistance not provided by government programs. When this occurs, efforts are made to link families with available community resources that can assist.


The wide and unique variety of needs of homeless students require each circumstance to be individually assessed and evaluated. Collaboration with parents or guardians is essential to effect a positive outcome for each student. Students in residency transition should contact their grade level counselor for assistance.


We at ILTexas are committed to ensuring that all children in foster care situations have the opportunity to enroll in, attend, and succeed in school. Our desire is to provide assistance, when needed, to assure the highest quality education possible. This is accomplished by offering enhanced opportunities and resources available in the community.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides all children and youth in foster care with core protections for school stability and school access through a statutory vehicle that is separate from the McKinney-Vento Act, and that outlines clear, distinct and appropriate responsibilities for both the education and child welfare agencies.  These amendments will remedy the significant challenges in implementing the McKinney-Vento Act for children and youth in foster care and build on the legislative foundation provided by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.


McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act guarantees education rights and supports for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Identifying and addressing barriers to enrollment ensures their ability to participate fully in school and provides them with needed stability during an otherwise difficult and chaotic time. 

The result of unexpected and frequent moves can be the difficulty with keeping track of personal belongings including documents ordinarily required for school enrollment. This includes school records, health records, and birth certificates. Many McKinney-Vento students, especially those who live in doubled-up arrangements, may not be able to provide proof of residence. 


Follow this link for information regarding procedures for immediate enrollment in ILTexas: PEIMS DEPARTMENT

If you feel your student lacks an adequate nighttime residence, please contact us.



Jeff Powers, Coordinator jpowers@iltexas.org

972-479-9078 X1129



Franklin Hernandez, Dallas Area Community Liaison fhernandez@iltexas.org


Danny Lowery, Tarrant Area Community Liaison dlowery@iltexas.org



Marcela Mora, Houston/College Station Area Community Liaison mmora@iltexas.org