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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:

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

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-

Informed Consent - Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.300
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:

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

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:

(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
Surrogate Parent - LEA appointment - California Government Code Section 7579.5

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
Parent - California Education Code Section 56028
Transfer of parental rights at age of majority - 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.520 - Transfer of parental rights at age of majority
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
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:

“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: Kristin Wright | kwright@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0756 
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