Districts' and schools' role in identifying and providing services for homeless students: Nested ecological case studies in school districts with high- and low-socioeconomic status

Hadass Moore*, Ron Avi Astor, Gordon Capp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Even though homeless students are nested in schools and districts with different socioeconomic status (SES) contexts, little is known about the role of schools and districts for homeless students in these differing contexts. This comparative case study explored the identification, service provision, and school experience of homeless students in high- and low-SES districts. Mixed-methods case study methodology was used to compare two school districts and their four elementary and middle schools in California. The districts differed based on their SES: low to medium versus high. Findings show that despite differences in the SES context, both districts were underidentifying homeless students. Hence, both districts were underserving and lacking awareness of homeless students that were not identified. However, the low-SES district had far greater poverty awareness and, subsequently, an existing organizational structure than the high-SES district to support identified homeless students. Poverty awareness and districts' organizational structure are important contextual factors to consider in designing local and tailored interventions and services for homeless students.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1124-1148
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Community Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Keywords

  • Mckinney−Vento Act
  • homeless students
  • school districts
  • socioeconomic status

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