Surrogate Parent Information

  • When?
    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.