Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

Definition of Frequently Used Terms

Includes term, statutory origin of the term, and a partial definition.
Conservator - California Welfare and Institutions Code sections 5350-5372

… A conservator of the person, of the estate, or of the person and the estate may be appointed for any person who is gravely disabled as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism. The procedure for establishing, administering, and terminating a conservatorship under this chapter shall be the same as that provided in Division 4 (commencing with Section 1400) of the Probate Code, except as follows:
(a) A conservator may be appointed for a gravely disabled minor.
(b) (1) Appointment of a conservator under this part, including the appointment of a conservator for a person who is gravely disabled … shall be subject to the list of priorities in Section 1812 of the Probate Code unless the officer providing conservatorship investigation recommends otherwise to the superior court.
(2) In appointing a conservator, as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 5008, the court shall consider the purposes of protection of the public and the treatment of the conservatee. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the court shall not appoint the proposed conservator if the court determines that appointment of the proposed conservator will not result in adequate protection of the public.
(c) No conservatorship of the estate pursuant to this chapter shall be established if a conservatorship or guardianship of the estate exists under the Probate Code. When a gravely disabled person already has a guardian or conservator of the person appointed under the Probate Code, the proceedings under this chapter shall not terminate the prior proceedings but shall be concurrent with and superior thereto. The superior court may appoint the existing guardian or conservator of the person or another person as conservator of the person under this chapter.
(d) The person for whom conservatorship is sought shall have the right to demand a court or jury trial on the issue whether he or she is gravely disabled. …
(e) (1) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 5008, a person is not "gravely disabled" if that person can survive safely without involuntary detention with the help of responsible family, friends, or others who are both willing and able to help provide for the person's basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter.
(2) However, unless they specifically indicate in writing their willingness and ability to help, family, friends, or others shall not be considered willing or able to provide this help.
(3) The purpose of this subdivision is to avoid the necessity for, and the harmful effects of, requiring family, friends, and others to publicly state, and requiring the court to publicly find, that no one is willing or able to assist the mentally disordered person in providing for the person's basic needs for food, clothing, or shelter. …
5350.1. The purpose of conservatorship, as provided for in this article, is to provide individualized treatment, supervision, and placement.
5350.2. Reasonable attempts shall be made by the county mental health program to notify family members or any other person designated by the person for whom conservatorship is sought, of the time and place of the conservatorship hearing. The person for whom the conservatorship is sought shall be advised by the facility treating the person that he or she may request that information about the time and place of the conservatorship hearing not be given to family members, in those circumstances where the proposed conservator is not a family member. …
5352. When the professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment determines that a person in his care is gravely disabled as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism and is unwilling to accept, or incapable of accepting, treatment voluntarily, he may recommend conservatorship to the officer providing conservatorship investigation of the county of residence of the person prior to his admission as a patient in such facility. The professional person in charge of an agency providing comprehensive evaluation or a facility providing intensive treatment may recommend conservatorship for a person without the person being an inpatient in such facility, if both of the following conditions are met: (a) the professional person or another professional person designated by him has examined and evaluated the person and determined that he is gravely disabled; (b) the professional person or another professional person designated by him has determined that future examination on an inpatient basis is not necessary for a determination that the person is gravely disabled. If the officer providing conservatorship investigation concurs with the recommendation, he shall petition the superior court in the county of residence of the patient to establish conservatorship. Where temporary conservatorship is indicated, the fact shall be alternatively pleaded in the petition. The officer providing conservatorship investigation or other county officer or employee designated by the county shall act as the temporary conservator.
5352.1. (a) The court may establish a temporary conservatorship for a period not to exceed 30 days and appoint a temporary conservator on the basis of the comprehensive report of the officer providing conservatorship investigation filed pursuant to Section 5354, or on the basis of an affidavit of the professional person who recommended conservatorship stating the reasons for his or her recommendation, if the court is satisfied that the comprehensive report or affidavit shows the necessity for a temporary conservatorship. …
(c) If the proposed conservatee demands a court or jury trial on the issue whether he or she is gravely disabled, the court may extend the temporary conservatorship until the date of the disposition of the issue by the court or jury trial, provided that the extension shall in no event exceed a period of six months.
5352.2. Where the duly designated officer providing conservatorship investigation is a public guardian, his official oath and bond as public guardian are in lieu of any other bond or oath on the grant of temporary letters of conservatorship to him.
56352.3 If the professional person in charge of the facility providing intensive treatment recommends conservatorship pursuant to Section 5352, the proposed conservatee may be held in that facility for a period not to exceed three days beyond the designated period for intensive treatment if the additional time period is necessary for a filing of the petition for temporary conservatorship and the establishment of the temporary conservatorship by the court. The involuntary detention period for gravely disabled persons pursuant to Sections 5150, 5250, and 5170.15 shall not exceed 47 days unless continuance is granted.

Conflict of Interest - California Government Code sections 7579.5 and 7579.6

7579.5(h)-The local educational agency shall terminate the appointment of a surrogate parent if (1) the person is not properly performing the duties of a surrogate parent or (2) the person has an interest that conflicts with the interests of the child entrusted to his or her care. (i) Individuals who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child, as specified in Section 300.519(d) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, shall not be appointed as a surrogate parent. An individual who would have a conflict of interest, for purposes of this section, means a person having any interests that might restrict or bias his or her ability to advocate for all of the services required to ensure that the child has a free appropriate public education. 7579.6.(a) In accordance with Section 1415(b)(2)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code, in the case of a child who is a ward of the state, the surrogate parent described in Section 7579.5 may alternatively be appointed by the judge overseeing the child's care provided that the surrogate meets the requirements of Section 7579.5.
(b) In the case of an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in Section 725(6) of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11434a(6)), the local educational agency shall appoint a surrogate parent in accordance with Section 7579.5 and Section 300.519(f) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Educational Designee - California Government Code Section 7579.5(n)

Nothing in this section may be interpreted to prevent a parent or guardian of an individual with exceptional needs from designating another adult individual to represent the interests of the child for educational and related services.

Educational Representative (similar to Surrogate) – appointed by Court - California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 726

Educational rights for Wards and Dependents of the Court
(a) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a ward or dependent child of the court, the court may limit the control to be exercised over the ward or dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall in its order, clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations, but no ward or dependent child shall be taken from the physical custody of a parent or guardian, unless upon the hearing the court finds one of the following facts:
(1) That the parent or guardian is incapable of providing or has failed or neglected to provide proper maintenance, training, and education for the minor.
(2) That the minor has been tried on probation while in custody and has failed to reform.
(3) That the welfare of the minor requires that custody be taken from the minor's parent or guardian.
(b) Whenever the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child until one of the following occurs:
(1) The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses not to make educational decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by the court to be incompetent.
(2) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.
(3) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor is fully restored.
(4) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.
(5) The child is placed into a planned permanent living arrangement pursuant to paragraph (5) or (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 727.3, at which time the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7 has the right to represent the child in educational matters pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code.

An individual who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child, as specified under federal regulations, may not be appointed to make educational decisions. For purposes of this section, "an individual who would have a conflict of interest," means a person having any interests that might restrict or bias his or her ability to make educational decisions, including, but not limited to, those conflicts of interest prohibited by Section 1126 of the Government Code, and the receipt of compensation or attorneys fees for the provision of services pursuant to this section. A foster parent may not be deemed to have a conflict of interest solely because he or she receives compensation for the provision of services pursuant to this section.

If the court is unable to appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child and paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, do not apply, and the child has either been referred to the local educational agency for special education and related services, or has a valid individualized education program, the court shall refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment of a surrogate parent pursuant to Section 7579.5 of the Government Code.

All educational and school placement decisions shall seek to ensure that the child is in the least restrictive educational programs and has access to the academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child.

(c) If the minor is removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian as the result of an order of ward ship made pursuant to Section 602, the order shall specify that the minor may not be held in physical confinement for a period in excess of the maximum term of imprisonment which could be imposed upon an adult convicted of the offense or offenses which brought or continued the minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. …

Educational Liaison (for foster children, dependents and wards) - Chapter 5.5, California Education Code Section 48853.5

Educational Placement of Pupils Residing in Licensed Children’s Institutions-
(a) This section applies to any foster child who has been removed from his or her home pursuant to Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or has been removed from his or her home and is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) Each local educational agency shall designate a staff person as the educational liaison for foster children. In a school district that operates a foster children services program pursuant to Chapter 11.3 (commencing with Section 42920) of Part 24, the educational liaison shall be affiliated with the local foster children services program. The liaison shall do all of the following:
(1) Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of foster children.
(2) Assist foster children when transferring from one school to another or from one school district to another in ensuring proper transfer of credits, records, and grades.
(c) This section does not grant authority to the educational liaison that supersedes the authority granted under state and federal law to a parent or guardian retaining educational rights, a responsible adult appointed by the court to represent the child pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a surrogate parent, or a foster parent exercising the authority granted under Section 56055. The role of the educational liaison is advisory with respect to placement decisions and determination of school of origin.
(d)(1) At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement of a foster child, the local educational agency serving the foster child shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the academic school year.
(2) The liaison, in consultation with and the agreement of the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child may, in accordance with the foster child's best interests, recommend that the foster child's right to attend the school of origin be waived and the foster child be enrolled in any public school that pupils living in the attendance
area in which the foster child resides are eligible to attend.
(3) Prior to making any recommendation to move a foster child from his or her school of origin, the liaison shall provide the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child with a written explanation stating the basis for the recommendation and how this recommendation serves the foster child's best interest.
(4) (A) If the liaison in consultation with the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child agree that the best interests of the foster child would best be served by his or her transfer to a school other than the school of origin, the foster child shall immediately be enrolled in the new school.
(B) The new school shall immediately enroll the foster child even if the foster child has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school last attended or is unable to produce records or clothing normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.
(C) The liaison for the new school shall, within two business days of the foster child's request for enrollment, contact the school last attended by the foster child to obtain all academic and other records. All required records shall be provided to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended. The school liaison for the school last attended shall provide all records to the new school within two business days of receiving the request.
(5) If any dispute arises regarding the request of a foster child to remain in the school of origin, the foster child has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the existing dispute resolution process available to any pupil served by the local educational agency.
(6) The local educational agency and the county placing agency are encouraged to collaborate to ensure maximum utilization of available federal moneys, explore public-private partnerships, and access any other funding sources to promote the well-being of foster children through educational stability.
(e) For purposes of this section, "school of origin" means the school that the foster child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the foster child was last enrolled. If the school the foster child attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which the foster child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster child attended with which the foster child is connected and which the foster child attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the liaison, in consultation with and the agreement of the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, shall determine, in the best interests of the foster child, the school that shall be deemed the school of origin.
(f) This section does not supersede other law governing the educational placements in juvenile court schools, as defined by Section 48645.1, by the juvenile court under Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

Informed Consent - Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.300

(a) Parental consent for initial evaluation. (1)(i) The public agency proposing to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if a child qualifies as a child with a disability under Sec. 300.8 must, after providing notice consistent with Sec. 300.503 and 300.504, obtain informed consent, consistent with Sec. 300.9, from the parent of the child before conducting the evaluation.
(ii) Parental consent for initial evaluation must not be construed as consent for initial provision of special education and related services.
(iii) The public agency must make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability.
(2) For initial evaluations only, if the child is a ward of the State and is not residing with the child's parent, the public agency is not required to obtain informed consent from the parent for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability if--
(i) Despite reasonable efforts to do so, the public agency cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the child;
(ii) The rights of the parents of the child have been terminated in accordance with State law; or (iii) The rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with State law and consent for an initial evaluation has been given by an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.
(3)(i) If the parent of a child enrolled in public school or seeking to be enrolled in public school does not provide consent for initial evaluation under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the public agency may, but is not required to, pursue the initial evaluation of the child by utilizing the procedural safeguards in subpart E of this part (including the mediation procedures under Sec. 300.506 or the due process procedures under Sec. Sec. 300.507 through 300.516), if appropriate, except to the extent inconsistent with State law relating to such parental consent. …

Informed Consent for California pupils - California Education Code Section 56506

In addition to the due process hearing rights enumerated in subdivision (b) of Section 56501, the following due process rights extend to the pupil and the parent:
(a) Written notice to the parent of his or her rights in language easily understood by the general public and in the native language of the parent, as defined in Section 300.29 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless to do so is clearly not feasible. The written notice of rights shall include, but not be limited to, those prescribed by Section 56341.
(b) The right to initiate a referral of a child for special education services pursuant to Section 56303.
(c) The right to obtain an independent educational assessment pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 56329.
(d) The right to participate in the development of the individualized education program and to be informed of the availability under state and federal law of free appropriate public education and of all available alternative programs, both public and nonpublic.
(e) Written parental consent pursuant to Section 56321 shall be obtained before any assessment of the pupil is conducted, unless the public agency prevails in a due process hearing relating to the assessment. In accordance with Section 300.300(c)(2) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, informed parental consent need not be obtained in the case of a reassessment of the pupil if the local educational agency can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable measures to obtain consent and the pupil's parent has failed to respond.
(f) Written parental consent pursuant to Section 56346 shall be obtained before the pupil is placed in a special education program.
(g) A parent of an individual with exceptional needs may elect to receive notices required under this chapter by an electronic mail communication, if the local educational agency makes that option available, in accordance with Section 1415(n) of Title 20 of the United States Code.

Legal Guardian - 2009 California Rules of the Court – 5.695 Orders of the Court

(b)Appointment of a legal guardian
At the disposition hearing, the court may appoint a legal guardian for the child if:
(A) The parent has advised the court that the parent does not wish to receive family maintenance services or reunification services;
(B) The parent has executed and submitted Waiver of Reunification Services
(C) The court finds that the parent and the child of sufficient age and comprehension, knowingly and voluntarily waive their rights to reunification services and agree to the appointment of the legal guardian; and
(D) The court finds that the appointment of the legal guardian is in the best interest of the child.
Recommendation for guardianship
On the recommendation of the probation officer supervising the child, the motion of the attorney representing the child, or the court’s own motion and order that a legal guardian should be appointed for the child, the court must set a hearing to consider the establishment of a legal guardianship and must order the probation officer to prepare an assessment that includes:
1. A review of the existing relationship between the child and the proposed guardian;
2. a summary of the child’s medical, developmental, educational, mental, and emotional status;
3. a social history of the proposed guardian, including a screening for criminal records and any prior referrals for child abuse or neglect;
4. an assessment of the ability of the proposed guardian’s understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of guardianship; and
5. a statement confirming that the proposed guardian has been provided with a copy of Guardianship Pamphlet (form JV-350) or Guardianship Pamphlet (Spanish) (form JV-350s)

(Role of the) Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) - California Education Code Section 56156.4(a)

Each special education local plan area shall be responsible for providing appropriate education to individuals with exceptional needs residing in licensed children's institutions and foster family homes located in the geographical area covered by the local plan.

(Any Agency placing a child in residential facility must) notify SELPA - California Government Code Section 7579(a)

Prior to placing a disabled child or a child suspected of being disabled in a residential facility, outside the child's home, a court, regional center for the developmentally disabled, or public agency other than an educational agency, shall notify the administrator of the special education local plan area in which the residential facility is located. The administrator of the special education local plan area shall provide the court or other placing agency with information about the availability of an appropriate public or nonpublic, nonsectarian special education program in the special education local plan area where the residential facility is located.

Surrogate Parent - Title 34 Code of Federal Regulation Section 300.519 Surrogate parents

(a) General. Each public agency must ensure that the rights of a child are protected when—
(1) No parent (as defined in Section 300.30) can be identified;
(2) The public agency, after reasonable efforts, cannot locate a parent;
(3) The child is a ward of the State under the laws of that State; or
(4) The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in section 725(6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(6))
(b) Duties of public agency. The duties of a public agency under paragraph (a) of this section include the assignment of an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents. This must include a method— (1) For determining whether a child needs a surrogate parent; and (2) For assigning a surrogate parent to the child.
(c) Wards of the State. In the case of a child who is a ward of the State, the surrogate parent alternatively may be appointed by the judge overseeing the child’s case, provided that the surrogate meets the requirements in paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (e) of this section.
(d) Criteria for selection of surrogate parents. (1) The public agency may select a surrogate parent in any way permitted under State law.
(2) Public agencies must ensure that a person selected as a surrogate parent—
(i) Is not an employee of the SEA, the LEA, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child;
(ii) Has no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child the surrogate parent represents; and (iii) Has knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child.
(e) Non-employee requirement; compensation. A person otherwise qualified to be a surrogate parent under paragraph (d) of this section is not an employee of the agency solely because he or she is paid by the agency to serve as a surrogate parent.
(f) Unaccompanied homeless youth. In the case of a child who is an unaccompanied homeless youth, appropriate staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs may be appointed as temporary surrogate parents without regard to paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, until a surrogate parent can be appointed that meets all of the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section.
(g) Surrogate parent responsibilities. The surrogate parent may represent the child in all matters relating to—
(1) The identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child; and
(2) The provision of FAPE to the child.
(h) SEA responsibility. The SEA must make reasonable efforts to ensure the assignment of a surrogate parent not more than 30 days after a public agency determines that the child needs a surrogate parent.

Surrogate Parent - LEA appointment - California Government Code Section 7579.5

(a) In accordance with Section 1415(b)(2)(B) of Title 20 of the United States Code, a local educational agency shall make reasonable efforts to ensure the appointment of a surrogate parent not more than 30 days after there is a determination by the local educational agency that a child needs a surrogate parent. A local educational agency shall appoint a surrogate parent for a child in accordance with Section 300.519 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations under one or more of the following circumstances:
(1)(A) The child is adjudicated a dependent or ward of the court pursuant to Section 300, 601, or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code upon referral of the child to the local educational agency for special education and related services, or if the child already has a valid individualized education program, (B) the court specifically has limited the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, and (C) the child has no responsible adult to represent him or her pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 56055 of the Education Code.
(2) No parent for the child can be identified.
(3) The local educational agency, after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the location of a parent.

Surrogate Parent may also be appointed by a judge - California Government Code Section 7579.6(a)
In accordance with Section 1415(b)(2)(A) of Title 20 of the United States Code, in the case of a child who is a ward of the state, the surrogate parent described in Section 7579.5 may alternatively be appointed by the judge overseeing the child's care provided that the surrogate meets the requirements of Section 7579.5.

Surrogate Parent – who may serve - California Government Code Section 7579.5
(b) When appointing a surrogate parent, the local educational agency, as a first preference, shall select a relative caretaker, foster parent, or court-appointed special advocate ….
(j) Except for individuals who have a conflict of interest in representing the child, and notwithstanding any other law or regulation, individuals who may serve as surrogate parents include, but are not limited to, foster care providers, retired teachers, social workers, and probation officers who are not employees of the State Department of Education, the local educational agency, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child.

Surrogate Parent – when service ends - California Government Code Section 7579.5(k)
The surrogate parent may represent the child until (1) the child is no longer in need of special education, (2) the minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses not to make educational decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by a court to be incompetent, (3) another responsible adult is appointed to make educational decisions for the minor, or (4) the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor is fully restored.

Parent - Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.30 Parent

(a) Parent means—
(1) A biological or adoptive parent of a child;
(2) A foster parent, unless State law, regulations, or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent;
(3) A guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State);
(4) An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare; or
(5) A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with Section 300.519 or section 639(a)(5) of the Act.(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent under this part and when more than one party is qualified under paragraph (a) of this section to act as a parent, must be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this section unless the biological or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child.(2) If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person or persons under paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section to act as the “parent” of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of a child, then such person or persons shall be determined to be the “parent” for purposes of this section. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401(23))

Parent - California Education Code Section 56028

(a) "Parent" means any of the following:
(1) A biological or adoptive parent of a child.
(2) A foster parent if the authority of the biological or adoptive parents to make educational decisions on the child's behalf specifically has been limited by court order in accordance with Section 300.30(b)(1) or (2) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(3) A guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child, including a responsible adult appointed for the child in accordance with Sections 361 and 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(4) An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent, including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative, with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare.
(5) A surrogate parent who has been appointed pursuant to Section 7579.5 or 7579.6 of the Government Code, and in accordance with Section 300.519 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Section 1439(a)(5) of Title 20 of the United States Code.
(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent under this part and when more than one party is qualified under subdivision (a) to act as a parent, shall be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this section unless the biological or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the child.
(2) If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person or persons under paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (a) to act as the "parent" of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of a child, then that person or persons shall be determined to be the "parent" for purposes of this part, Article 1 (commencing with Section 48200) of Chapter 2 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2, and Chapter 26.5 (commencing with Section 7570) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code, and Sections 361 and 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(c) "Parent" does not include the state or any political subdivision of government.
(d) "Parent" does not include a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency under contract with a local educational agency for the provision of special education or designated instruction and services for a child.

Transfer of parental rights at age of majority - 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.520 - Transfer of parental rights at age of majority

(a) General. A State may provide that, when a child with a disability reaches the age of majority under State law that applies to all children (except for a child with a disability who has been determined to be incompetent under State law)—
(1)(i) The public agency must provide any notice required by this part to both the child and the parents; and (ii) All rights accorded to parents under Part B of the Act transfer to the child;
(2) All rights accorded to parents under Part B of the Act transfer to children who are incarcerated in an adult or juvenile, State or local correctional institution; and (3) Whenever a State provides for the transfer of rights under this part pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section, the agency must notify the child and the parents of the transfer of rights.
(b) Special rule. A State must establish procedures for appointing the parent of a child with a disability, or, if the parent is not available, another appropriate individual, to represent the educational interests of the child throughout the period of the child’s eligibility under Part B of the Act if, under State law, a child who has reached the age of majority, but has not been determined to be incompetent, can be determined not to have the ability to provide informed consent with respect to the child’s educational program.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1415(m))

Transfer of Rights to California pupils at age 18 - California Education Code Section 56041.5

When an individual with exceptional needs reaches the age of 18, with the exception of an individual who has been determined to be incompetent under state law, the local educational agency shall provide any notice of procedural safeguards required under this part to both the individual and the parents of the individual. All other rights accorded to a parent under this part shall transfer to the individual with exceptional needs. The local educational agency shall notify the individual and the parent of the transfer of rights.

Transfer of Rights to California pupils -Notify one year before age 18 - California Education Code Section 560345(g)

Beginning not later than one year before the pupil reaches the age of 18 years, a statement that the pupil has been informed of the pupil's rights under this part, if any, that will transfer to the pupil upon reaching the age of 18 years pursuant to Section 56041.5.

Ward - Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.45

(a) General. Subject to paragraph (b) of this section, ward of the State means a child who, as determined by the State where the child resides, is—
(1) A foster child; (2) A ward of the State; or (3) In the custody of a public child welfare agency. (b) Exception. Ward of the State does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a parent in Section 300.30. (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1401(36))

Ward - California Welfare and Institutions Code
“300 Dependents” - California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300

Any child who comes within any of the following descriptions is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which may adjudge that person to be a dependent child of the court:
(a) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm inflicted non-accidentally upon the child by the child's parent or guardian. …
(b) The child has suffered, or there is a substantial risk that the child will suffer, serious physical harm or illness, as a result of the failure or inability of his or her parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child, or the willful or negligent failure of the child's parent or guardian to adequately supervise or protect the child …
(c) The child is suffering serious emotional damage, or is at substantial risk of suffering serious emotional damage, evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward self or others, as a result of the conduct of the parent or guardian or who has no parent or guardian capable of providing appropriate care …
(d) The child has been sexually abused …
(e) The child is under the age of five years and has suffered severe physical abuse by a parent, or by any person known by the parent, if the parent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was physically abusing the child. For the purposes of this subdivision, "severe physical abuse" means any of the following: any single act of abuse which causes physical trauma of sufficient severity that, if left untreated, would cause permanent physical disfigurement, permanent physical disability, or death; …
(f) The child's parent or guardian caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect….
(g) The child has been left without any provision for support; physical custody of the child has been voluntarily surrendered … the child's parent has been incarcerated or institutionalized and cannot arrange for the care of the child …
(h) The child has been freed for adoption by one or both parents for 12 months by either relinquishment or termination of parental rights or an adoption petition has not been granted.
(i) The child has been subjected to an act or acts of cruelty by the parent or guardian or a member of his or her household …
(j) The child's sibling has been abused or neglected …

“602 Wards” - Welfare and Institution Code sections 602, 607, and 725

… any person who is under the age of 18 years when he or she violates any law of this state or of the United States or any ordinance of any city or county of this state defining crime other than an ordinance establishing a curfew based solely on age, is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge such person to be a ward of the court (b) Any person who is alleged, when he or she was 14 years of age or older, to have committed one of the following offenses shall be prosecuted under the general law in a court of criminal jurisdiction: (1) Murder … (2) The following sex offenses, if the prosecutor alleges that the minor personally committed the offense, and if the prosecutor alleges one of the circumstances enumerated in the One Strike law, subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 667.61 of the Penal Code, applies:(A) Rape … (B) Spousal rape … (C) Forcible sex offenses in concert with another … (D) Forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years … (E) Forcible sexual penetration…(F) Sodomy or oral copulation … by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person. (G) Lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 years …

The court may retain jurisdiction over any person described in Section 602 by reason of the commission of any of the offenses listed in subdivision (b), paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), or subdivision (e) of Section 707 who has been confined in a state hospital or other appropriate public or private mental health facility pursuant to Section 702.3 until that person has attained the age of 25 years, unless the court which committed the person finds, after notice and hearing, that the person's sanity has been restored.

After receiving and considering the evidence on the proper disposition of the case, the court may enter judgment as follows: (a) If the court has found that the minor is a person described by Section 601 or 602, by reason of the commission of an offense other than any of the offenses set forth in Section 654.3, it may, without adjudging the minor a ward of the court, place the minor on probation, under the supervision of the probation officer, for a period not to exceed six months. The minor's probation shall include the conditions required in Section 729.2 except in any case in which the court makes a finding and states on the record its reasons that any of those conditions would be inappropriate. If the offense involved the unlawful possession, use, or furnishing of a controlled substance, as defined in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the Health and Safety Code, a violation of subdivision (f) of Section 647 of the Penal Code, or a violation of Section 25662 of the Business and Professions Code, the minor's probation shall include the conditions required by Section 729.10. If the minor fails to comply with the conditions of probation imposed, the court may order and adjudge the minor to be a ward of the court.
(b) If the court has found that the minor is a person described by Section 601 or 602, it may order and adjudge the minor to be a ward of the court …

Notwithstanding any other law and pursuant to the provisions of this section, the juvenile court shall commit any minor adjudicated to be a ward of the court for the personal use of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, to placement in a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, or with the Department of the Youth Authority. (b) A court may impose a treatment-based alternative placement order on any minor subject to this section if the court finds the minor has a mental disorder requiring intensive treatment. Any alternative placement order under this subdivision shall be made on the record, in writing, and in accordance with Article 3 (commencing with Section 6550) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6.

Wardship Orders of the Court - 2009 California Rules of the Court

The court may make any reasonable order for the care, supervision, custody, conduct, maintenance, support, and medical treatment of a child declared a ward.

Questions: Judy Reichle | jreichle@cde.ca.gov | 916-327-4223 
Download Free Readers