Collaborations of Schools and Social Service Agencies
In the past two decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of homeless students enrolled in US schools. Overwhelmed school personnel lack adequate resources and skills to successfully address the myriad of challenges – especially those outside the scope of academics – faced by homeless children. Issues like hunger, inadequate housing, poor health care, emotional difficulties, domestic violence, and family substance abuse among others have prompted educators to look increasingly toward collaborations with social service agencies as a possible solution. A review of the literature reveals that little effort has been expended in identifying successful collaborative efforts and the few programs that have been identified have received so little attention that they have not been replicated by others initiating their own collaborative efforts. This report explores collaborative efforts of schools and social service agencies working with homeless children and families. The project’s goals were to identify frequently encountered barriers and successful strategies to overcome them.