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 youth in care; or
- The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth.
What are the Responsibilities?
- 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)
How Does One Become an Educational Surrogate Parent?
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:
- 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)
Should you be interested in receiving training to become an Educational Surrogate Parent, please contact Erin Saxton at 217/782-5589 or
- Pass the training exam, and
- Complete and pass a background check.
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:
- Observation of the student at school,
- Met with personnel involved in the student’s education,
- Met with personnel involved in the student’s care,
- Attended meetings to develop or review the students Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
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