Student and Family Assistance

  • School Social Workers

    School Social Workers serve as the link between school and home around issues that are impacting student achievement.   The primary focus of the social worker is to ensure that students who have excessive unexcused absences receive the support and follow-up that they need in order to come to school every day.

    Contact: Dr. Albert Royster, Jr., 919-560-2000 Ext. 85317 

    Durham Network of Care

    Durham Network of Care is an integrated network of community resources and services which supports collaboration among families, professionals, and the community.  The local system of care integrates the work of education, juvenile justice, health, mental health, child welfare, family court, other community organizations, and families form teams that share the responsibility to ensure that children and families have access to the services and supports they need.

    Contact: Dr. Christopher Soto, 919-560-2208 Ext. 85309

    Office of Transitional Services (Homeless)

    Homeless Liaison Services are mandated to all students who meet the federal definitions of a homeless student under the McKinney-Vento Act.  Services are provided to ensure equal access to educational opportunities for students whose families are homeless or are in transitional living situations. 

    McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

    In January of 2002, Congress authorized the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to assist families and youth experiencing homelessness. This Act entitles children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence to a free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance and success in school. The McKinney-Vento Program meets the needs of homeless students attending Durham Public Schools by addressing academic challenges and family issues affecting their success in school. 

    Example living situations that may qualify include, but are not limited to:

    • Living with a friend, relative or other person/family because of a loss of housing
    • Staying in a motel or hotel because of a loss of housing or fleeing domestic violence
    • Living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or domestic violence shelter
    • Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station
    • Living temporarily in substandard housing
    • Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home
    • Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter
    • Youth living on their own, even if their families want them to come home

    The McKinney-Vento Program also meets the needs of "a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian" (42 USC §11434a(6), 2001). Youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and lacking a fixed, regular and adequate residence are referred to as unaccompanied homeless youth. Youth who run away are also eligible for services even if the parent/guardian/caregiver wishes the student to return home. Some reasons a youth may be on his/her own include, but is not limited to, family dysfunction, parental neglect and abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, or substance), incarceration, illness and deportation. Runaway youth and unaccompanied homeless youth are eligible to be enrolled immediately without a legal guardian. Under the McKinney-Vento Program, there is no age limit for an unaccompanied homeless or runaway youth as long as the student is eligible for K-12 public education in NC. Schools must immediately alert the School Social Worker or the District McKinney-Vento Liaison if presented with a possible runaway or unaccompanied homeless youth.

    Requesting Services:  If you feel that you or your family may qualify for McKinney-Vento Services, please contact your School Social Worker or Ebony Thomas, District Homeless Liaison at 919-560-3927.

    District McKinney-Vento Data:

    School Year

    Number of Students Identified

    2014-2015

    861

    2015-2016

    976

    2016-2017

    935

    2017-2018

    1006

    2018-2019

    1040


    Contact Information: 

    Ebony Thomas
    McKinney-Vento District Liaison
    919-560-3927
    ebony.thomas@dpsnc.net

    State Coordinator: Lisa Phillips (336) 316-7491
    NC Homeless Education Website:  https://hepnc.uncg.edu/