Surrogate Parents

There are certain circumstances when a school district will assign someone to act as a surrogate for the parents in order to protect the education rights of a child.


Those circumstances are:


  • When no parent can be identified;
  • When the school district, after reasonable efforts, cannot discover the whereabouts of a parent;
  • When the child is a ward of the state under the laws of the state; and
  • When the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth.


The school district is responsible for determining whether a child needs a surrogate for the parent and for assigning a surrogate for the parent to a child.  If a school district assigns a surrogate to a child, they must ensure that person:


  • Has no interest that conflicts with the interests of the child that he or she represents;
  • Has knowledge and skills to adequately represent the child;
  • Is not an employee of the school district which is involved in the education or care of the child.  A person who otherwise qualifies to be a surrogate parent is not an employee of the school district solely because he or she is paid by the district to serve as a surrogate parent; and
  • In the case of a child who is an unaccompanied homeless youth; appropriate staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs and street outreach programs may be appointed as temporary surrogate parents until a surrogate parent can be secured.


The surrogate for the parent may represent the child in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child, and the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child.


Phone code: 1614

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