Federal and state laws mandate that a child receiving special education programs and services be represented by a parent who is recognized as an equal member of the team that develops the child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP.) This manual provides information to local education agencies (LEAs), Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs), parents and family centers, and volunteers who are willing to serve as surrogates on when and how a surrogate parent may be appointed.
- Letter from State Director of Special Education
- Surrogate Parents in California Special Education: An Overview (Updated 08-Feb-2012; DOC; 263KB; 46pp.) | (PDF; 173KB; 46pp.)
- California Parent Organizations - California agencies providing resources for families of children with disabilities.
- Additional Resources - To assist in the administration of a surrogate parent training program to support surrogate parents’ participation as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
- Definition of Frequently Used Terms including the statutory origin of terms such as surrogate, educational representative, legal guardian, transfer of rights at age of majority, conservators, conflict of interest, etc.
- Related Agencies
- California Department of Social Services - All County Letter 91-25 published in 1991 to notify probation officers and county welfare workers that the law now “precludes social workers and probation officers from acting in the capacity of a surrogate parent.”
- California Attorney General Opinion (DOC; 72.5KB; 9pp.) ruled in 1991 that the rights of a surrogate parent include making medical decisions for the child such as placement in a residential facility and psychotherapy treatment.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Being a Child’s Educational Representative (Outside Source; PDF) compiled by the Judicial Council of California.
- Superior Court of California Surrogate Parent Appointment Forms:
- Findings And Orders Limiting Right To Make Educational Decisions for the Child, Appointing Educational Representative, and Determining Child's Educational Needs (JV-535) (Outside Source; PDF)
- Local Educational Agency Response to JV-535 - Appointment of Surrogate Parent (JV-536) (Outside Source; PDF)
- Educational Representative or Surrogate Parent Information (JV-537) (Outside Source; PDF)
- Training Resources
- Surrogate Parents in California Special Education: An Overview Presentation Slides includes a list of rights prepared by Procedural Safeguards Referral Services, Special Education Division (PPT; 239KB; 37slides | DOC; 80KB; 7pp.)
- Sample Notice of LCI/Group Home Placement Form (Posted 26-Apr-2009; DOC; 31KB; 1p.) developed by Monterey County SELPA to obtain information to protect student's educational rights. Form is to be completed upon placement of a student with exceptional needs into an LCI or a group home within the SELPA.
- Materials for Training and Supporting Surrogate Parents (Outside Source)
General information from U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs funded National Dissemination Center for children with Disabilities (NICHY)