We are available to serve as a surrogate parent for school districts to support students in Residential Care Facilities. Congress recognized the importance of active parents' involvement in planning their children's educational programs, monitoring progress, and challenging inappropriate decisions. This child advocate role is usually filled by parents. However, the laws give an alternative if the parents of a child with a disability are unknown or completely unavailable or if the child is a ward of the state. Surrogate parents fill the parental role in these situations. Surrogate parents play an important role in a child's education. School districts appoint surrogate parents to support the child's education decision. The more surrogate parents know and the more comfortable they are with the special education process and procedures, the more effective they will be in the role of surrogate parent.
Surrogate parents are appointed under three conditions:
The parent is unknown or unavailable
The pupil is a ward of the state
The parent requests a surrogate parent in writing. Parents are not usually aware of their right to request a surrogate parent. When a potential situation arises, the parents should be notified of their right to request a surrogate parent. They should also be informed regarding the rights and responsibilities that the surrogate would assume in this role.