Special Education Services

Surrogate Parent Program

Erin Cray, ISBE Coordinator
(217) 782-5589

  What is an Educational Surrogate Parent?

An Educational Surrogate Parent is an individual who has been appointed to represent the educational interests of a child with disabilities when:

  • No parent (as defined under 34 CFR 300.30) can be identified;
  • The parent cannot be located;
  • The child is a ward of the state; or
  • The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth.

  What are the Responsibilities?

An educational surrogate parent:

  • Learns about the student’s educational needs by getting acquainted with the student, communicating with personnel involved in the student’s education and/or care, and observing the student at school;
  • Acts as the student’s advocate for educational matters;
  • Provides or withholds consent for assessment and services/placement;
  • Attends educational meetings on the student’s behalf;
  • Works with school staff to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the student;
  • Negotiates for appropriate services on behalf of the student;
  • Abides by the laws of confidentiality when sharing information about the student;
  • Requests complaint, mediation or due process procedures, if necessary.
  • Reports services twice a year (also basis for reimbursement)

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  How Does One Become an Educational Surrogate Parent? (9/6/16)

By volunteering as an educational surrogate parent, he/she becomes an important member of a team in determining and ensuring a child receives a free and appropriate public education. The educational surrogate parent must:

  1. Complete training (An educational surrogate parent application must be completed during the training. There is a flat fee of $60 to offset personal expenses incurred by the volunteer)
  2. Training Calendar pdf format (9/16)
  3. Should you be interested in receiving training, please contact Jim Even at (630) 889-7393 or as we may be able to schedule a training at your location.
  4. Registration Form pdf format (9/16)
  5. Pass the training exam, and
  6. Complete and pass a background check.

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  Is an Educational Surrogate Parent Reimbursed for Expenses?

An educational surrogate parent is eligible to receive a flat fee ($50.00) for expenses incurred while providing services. To be able to receive the reimbursement, the educational surrogate parent must have provided at least one of the following services:

  1. Observation of the student at school,
  2. Met with personnel involved in the student’s education,
  3. Met with personnel involved in the student’s care,
  4. Attended meetings to develop or review the students Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

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