Addressing the Unremitting Educational Neglect of Homeless

David E. Herrington, Kathleen Kidd-Herrington


The purpose of this article is to highlight the continuing national crisis in the education of children in homeless and foster care circumstances and to make recommendations for improving local education agency (LEA) response to their needs. In 2004 there were in excess of 560,000 children in foster care in the United States. “Those younger than 6 years form the largest cohort of children entering care, and remain longest in care†(Vig, Chinitz & Shulman, 2005, p. 147). These children historically have been underserved after experiencing parental neglect, abuse, and emotional disorders. These vulnerable children are often placed with foster home staff who, despite their best efforts and intentions, often do not know how to address the specific emotional and learning needs of their clients (McNeil, Hershell, Gurwitch & Clemens-Mowrer, 2005, May) In time, many foster children become “unplaceable†and face institutionalization until they “age-out†of foster care.

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