ALL ABOUT MRS. GITTENS
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about me. I am thrilled to be the K-12 School Social Worker here at Voyager Academy.
I was born and raised in Southwest Virginia. I received my Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Radford University. Go Highlanders!!!!! I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) in Virginia and North Carolina.
For the first eleven years of my career, I had the pleasure of working as a School Social Worker for Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Since 2012, I have worked in private practice providing individual and group therapy to children and families.
In my free time, I love spending time with my husband, baby girl, and sneaky chihuahua, Jerry.
"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
WHO ARE SCHOOL SOCIAL WORKERS
"School Social Workers are trained mental health professionals with a master's degree in social work, who provide services related to a person's social, emotional and life adjustment to school and/or society. School Social Workers are the link between the home, school and community in providing direct as well as indirect services to students, families and school personnel to promote and support students' academic and social success."
-School Social Work Association of America
SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS LIAISON
ACADEMIC, BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL INTERVENTION
MCKINNEY-VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT
In January of 2002, Congress authorized the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to assist families and youth experiencing homelessness. This Act entitles children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence to a free, appropriate education and requires schools to remove barriers to their enrollment, attendance and success in school.
The McKinney-Vento Program meets the needs of homeless students attending Voyager Academy by addressing academic challenges and family issues affecting their success in school.
Example living situations that may qualify include, but are not limited to:
Living with a friend, relative or other person/family because of a loss of housing
Staying in a motel or hotel because of a loss of housing or fleeing domestic violence
Living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing or domestic violence shelter
Living in a car, park or public place, abandoned building or bus station
Living temporarily in substandard housing
Living in a campground or an inadequate trailer home
Living in a runaway or homeless youth shelter
Youth living on their own, even if their families want them to come home
The McKinney-Vento Program also meets the needs of "a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian" (42 USC §11434a(6), 2001). Youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and lacking a fixed, regular and adequate residence are referred to as unaccompanied homeless youth. Youth who run away are also eligible for services even if the parent/guardian/caregiver wishes the student to return home. Some reasons a youth may be on his/her own include, but is not limited to, family dysfunction, parental neglect and abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, or substance), incarceration, illness and deportation. Runaway youth and unaccompanied homeless youth are eligible to be enrolled immediately without a legal guardian. Under the McKinney-Vento Program, there is no age limit for an unaccompanied homeless or runaway youth as long as the student is eligible for K-12 public education in NC. Schools must immediately alert the School Social Worker or the McKinney-Vento Program Specialist if presented with a possible runaway or unaccompanied homeless youth.
Requesting Services: The provisions of the McKinney-Vento Act supersede any state law or local policy that may conflict with this act. Services provided include immediate enrollment, school selection promoting stability, nutrition and academic support. McKinney-Vento services are provided for the duration of a school year and do not automatically renew. The School Social Worker assess for eligibility. To obtain more information about services provided and how to access services, please contact the School Social Worker.
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
101 Hock Parc
Durham, NC 27704
919-433-3301 ext. 146