ERIC Number: ED425046
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Homeless Children: Addressing the Challenge in Rural Schools. ERIC Digest.
Vissing, Yvonne M.
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, homelessness is as prevalent in rural as urban areas. This digest examines the implications of homelessness for rural children and youth and discusses possible actions by rural educators. An estimated half of the rural homeless are families with children. Compared to urban counterparts, rural homeless families are more likely to be female-headed households and to rely on family and friends rather than social agencies. In addition to lacking physical housing, homeless children are deprived of the emotional security that a home provides. Homeless children may be barred from school by residency requirements or missing records, and may struggle in school due to transience, emotional problems, poor nutrition, poverty-related health problems, domestic violence, or self-destructive behaviors. Homelessness is increasing in the United States as the income gap between rich and poor widens, child poverty increases, and housing costs rise. Schools can address the problems of homeless children by reconsidering attendance and other policies, providing in-school support for projects, and holding professional development workshops that help teachers identify and serve homeless children. Rural educators should compile information on local services and resources available to homeless families and may establish informal support mechanisms. Public policy involvement may be the best long-term strategy for educators. (Contains 10 references and 6 resource organizations.) (SV)
Descriptors: Children, Economically Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, High Risk Students, Homeless People, Housing Deficiencies, Poverty, Rural Areas, Rural Family, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, School Policy, School Role
ERIC/CRESS, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; phone: 800-624-9120 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.