Surrogate Parent Information
Prior to special education paperwork requiring parent involvement and signatures, a surrogate parent must be assigned to ensure that the rights of a student are protected when:
- The student is a ward of the state or
- No parent can be identified
- After reasonable efforts by the public agency, the whereabouts of a parent cannot be discovered
To meet state and federal regulations, a surrogate parent is someone who:
- Has no interests in conflict with the child's interests
- Is not employed by a public agency involved in the care of education of the student
- Is knowledgeable about: state and federal requirements, school district special education guidelines, and student's needs, disability and strengths
- Is skilled, knowledgeable, and adequately able to represent the student
To adequately represent the child and effectively advocate for an appropriate education, surrogate parents may do the following:
- Be willing to serve in that capacity;
- Ensure that the child's due process rights are not violated;
- Complete a training program that complies with minimum standards established by TEA;
- Consult with persons involved in the child's education; and
- Attend Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee meetings.
Procedures for assignment of a surrogate parent are:
- Evaluation Specialist determines the need for a Surrogate Parent.
- Evaluation Specialist contacts Compliance Coordinator about this need.
- Compliance Coordinator provides contact information of trained Surrogate Parents to Evaluation Specialist.
- Evaluation Specialist contacts Surrogate Parent to determine mutually agreeable time to become familiar with student, student records, and those involved in the student's education.
- Evaluation Specialist has the Surrogate Parent complete the Surrogate Parent forms.
- Evaluation Specialist notifies Compliance Coordinator if the student no longer needs a surrogate parent.
Please direct questions regarding becoming a surrogate parent to Lori Oberheu @ 817.814.2839.