True Colors United
NLCHP logo

State Highlights

Some areas where Georgia has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently, addressing their educational needs, and allowing them to access critical supports and services. 

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • The state has extended foster care to age 21 under certain circumstances and allows young adults under 21 to opt back into services after exiting if needed. 
  • The state has a grievance process for students experiencing homelessness in compliance with federal law to reflect ESSA’s changes to McKinney-Vento for students, and the state allows partial and alternative school credit accrual through regulations. 
  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.
  • The state allows unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.

Systems

Systems

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

Environment

Environment

  • The state promotes safe and inclusive environments in juvenile justice programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement across the metrics for the Peach State. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness, preventing their contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems, and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.

Law and Policy

Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Enact a state law that allows youth in need of care to receive services without court involvement.
  • Declassify running away as a status or delinquent offense.

Systems

Systems

  • Create a comprehensive statewide plan to end homelessness that includes a strategy to prevent and end youth homelessness and LGBTQ youth homelessness. that includes a plan to address homelessness among LGBTQ youth.
  • Create a state entity - such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services -  that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.

Environment

Environment

  • Organize and maintain a self-governing youth action board or council to inform youth homelessness policy within the state.
  • Require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development, or issues specific to LGBTQ youth for staff working in runaway and homeless youth systems.
  • Ban controversial and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.
  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in child welfare and and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Download The Fact Sheet

Download a print-friendly version of this state's scorecard.

DOWNLOAD