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YCOE STAFF

 Mariah Ernst-Collins

Mariah Ernst-Collins    Coordinator II, Foster, Homeless and Mental Health Services
530.668.3791

Bianca Solorio

Bianca Solorio
Homeless and Foster Youth Service Outreach Specialist
530.668.3763

            Liz Winder

                   Liz Winder
    Homeless and Foster Youth         Service Outreach Specialist
               530.668.3738

Sonia Pizano

            Sonia Pizano              Administrative Secretary 530.668.3796

AmeriCorps Foster     Youth mentors

   David Benitez

David Benitez

Shannon Feil

Shannon Feil

Zahira Elmansoumi

Zahira Elmansoumi

Foster and Homeless Education Services


McKinney Vento Education Services for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program 

The mission of the YCOE's McKinney Vento Education Services for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Program is to implement the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance ACT, which was put in place to ensure the educational rights and protections for children and youth experiencing homelessness. Our goal is to ensure we meet the developmental, social, emotional, and educational needs of the children and youth we serve through a whole child approach.

In accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, the Yolo County Office of Education protects the educational rights of homeless children and youth in Yolo County and provides services to assist them.

According to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act anyone who lacks a regular, fixed and adequate night time residence, lives in a shelter (family, domestic violence, youth or transitional living program); lives in a motel, hotel or weekly housing; is sharing housing due to economic hardship; is living in a public place not designated for sleeping (such as cars, parks, abandoned buildings, campgrounds or on the street); is in temporary foster care placement or with an adult who is not their parent or guardian; or is staying with friends or family because they are a runaway or unaccompanied youth. These individuals have the educational right to enroll in school with or without proper documentation or school records (including: proof of residency, immunization records, grades/transcripts, or legal guardianship papers) or to remain in the school of origin (the school the child last attended) for the duration of the academic year. They also have the educational rights to receive transportation to the school of origin, to participate fully in all school activities and programs and to automatically qualify for child nutrition programs.

In order to protect those educational rights, YCOE offers assistance with school enrollment, attendance and academic success; assistance with obtaining school and immunization records; referrals to community resources that assist with food, shelter and clothing; transportation resources to attend school; school supplies and resources; referrals to tutoring services; professional development, consultation, training; and parent consultation, including discussion of educational rights and responsibilities.

multi cultural hands

Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP)


The mission of YCOE's Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) is to provide guidance, advocacy, community organization, teaming and collaboration around the issue of school success for students involved in the foster care system. Our goal is to remove barriers and increase success for the youth and families we serve.

In accordance with AB 490, the Yolo County Office of Education protects the educational rights of foster children and youth in Yolo County and provides services to assist them. The Foster Youth Services Program is funded by a grant from the California Department of Education. Foster youth often experience numerous changes in placement and interruption in school. The emotional adjustments of these changes combined with the stress of falling behind in school can be overwhelming. Studies place the high school graduation rate of foster youth between 38% and 46%. In order to support foster children academically and emotionally, the Foster Youth Services program was established to meet these needs.

Under AB 490, foster youth have the rights to remain in their school of origin for the duration of the school year; to immediately enroll in school even if they are missing records normally needed for school enrollment; to attend a regular, mainstream school unless they have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) requiring a different educational placement, or the person with educational rights determines that it is in the child’s best interest to attend a different educational program or remain in her school of origin; to have their school records transferred in a timely manner (2 days); to have their grades protected (a youth’s grades cannot be lowered due to absences caused by a change in placement, attendance at a court hearing, or a court-ordered activity); and to receive partial credits (schools must award all students credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed at another public school, a juvenile court school, or a non-public, non-sectarian school).

YCOE ensures that the rights of foster youth are being protected in accordance with AB 490. Under YCOE's FYSCP we provide the following services and supports to youth in care, caregivers, local education agencies and community partners: educational case management, linkage and referral, Quarterly Foster and Homeless Education Collaborative Meetings, and professional development, consultation and training. In partnership with Woodland Community College and Yolo County Foster & Kinship Care Education Program, the FYSCP hosts three AmeriCorps members with the goal of increasing academic engagement and achievement through mentoring, academic assistance, life skills, financial literacy, transition planning, and job search.