The “FEDERAL DEFINITION The McKinney-Vento Act defines unaccompanied youth as “a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian” [42 USC § 11434a (6)]. Taking a closer look at the definition, two conditions must be present for a child or youth to be considered an unaccompanied youth under the McKinney-Vento Act:
- The child’s or youth’s living arrangement meets the Act’s definition of homeless, and
- The child or youth is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Physical custody refers to where a child or youth is physically living; as such, a child or youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian is a child or youth who is not living with a parent or guardian”.
For further help, please see the following resources:
Information for School Age Youth
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline