“Homeless Liaison” may be in your job description – but do you know what it means?

By law, every local education agency (school district or charter school) must appoint a staff member to act as a liaison for students in homeless situations.  Often this person holds one or more other job titles, including parent or school liaison, migrant or outreach coordinator, counselor, principal, federal programs director, or assistant superintendent. 

Liaisons are responsible for:  Identifying students in homeless situations, enrolling these students in school, and giving them “full and equal opportunity to succeed”. This includes:

  • Ensuring qualified students are also enrolled in other appropriate educational services such as Head Start or pre-school.
  • Referring students to appropriate health services.
  • Keeping parents and guardians informed as to their students’ options and rights.
  • Publicly posting notice of educational rights.
  • Mediating enrollment disputes.
  • Informing about and assisting with transportation arrangements.
  • Helping students obtain immunizations (where needed), and medical records.
  • Informing unaccompanied youth (students without parents or guardians) about enrollment options and assist them in enrolling.

How do you do all of this?  There is help available!  Education Service Center Region 13’s Homeless Education program (HEP) offers a variety of trainings and services that can help prepare you for your position as liaison. 

In addition, the Texas Homeless Education Office (THEO) offers services and trainings for liaisons and school administrators, technical assistance, and expert advice for how to handle situations and resolve disputes.  THEO’s web site also offers a variety of helpful fact sheets including one titled, “Local Education Agency Liaisons”.