PA Youth Experiencing Homelessness Task Force Report
Posted by on April 07, 2014
In July 5, 2012, the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed and Governor Tom Corbett signed Act 123 of 2012 creating a Task Force within the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to examine the educational needs of Pennsylvania’s homeless children and youth. Prescribed Task Force members (Homeless Task Force) were leaders from both the public and private sector representing education, community organizations, faith-based organizations, advocacy organizations, housing services and state officials. The Task Force was chaired by the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Public Welfare.
The Homeless Task Force created was to conduct a study of the demographics and education of Pennsylvania’s homeless child population and their educational needs. The study included:
• Demographic survey of homeless parents and homeless youth;
• Assessment of difficulties in providing educational services to homeless students;
• Assessment of barriers to serving the needs of preschool children experiencing homelessness, including access to early intervention services;
• Assessment of successful strategies for serving homeless students, including parents, homeless shelters, students and school district educational services available to homeless students;
• Assessment of best practices used in other states to educate homeless students; and
• Recommendations regarding the collection and use of data currently collected by the Department of Education.
The Homeless Task Force was tasked to make recommendations regarding the collection and use of data currently collected by PDE and issue a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the Senate and the chairman and minority chairman of the Education Committee of the House of Representatives.
The 14-member Homeless Task Force worked both in subcommittees and as a whole. The Homeless Task Force engaged diverse stakeholders in its deliberations, heard from experts and reviewed national and commonwealth studies and reports, and drew upon research. The Homeless Task Force report includes the findings and recommendation of the task force and is a valuable resource available to schools and community organizations who are serving students who are homeless. The Department of Education encourages all superintendents, school administrators and teachers to review the report.
Please visit http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/homeless_education/7491
to review this report.
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