Statewide Special Education Surrogate Parent Programs: Ensuring Quality Advocacy to all Foster Children with Special Education Needs.
Published: July 2012
Family Court Review
Vol. 50, No. 3 Wiley-Blackwell
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Tel: 1-800-825-7550 201-748-6000
Sponsoring Organization: The Center For Children, Families and the Law, Hofstra University School of Law.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) protects foster children's rights to have a special education decision maker. For foster children with special needs who do not have a natural or adoptive parent or a responsible adult in their life to take on this role, IDEIA requires that a special education surrogate parent be appointed by appropriate procedures. Under IDEIA, these procedures are delegated to the states. Each state must ensure that local education agencies (LEAs) delineate methods for recruiting and maintaining a pool of available special education surrogate parents. Due to differing state laws and LEA procedures, there are many discrepancies in the quality and availability of special education surrogate parents. To combat these problems, this Note proposes principles for administrative regulations establishing statewide special education surrogate parent programs by examining existing statewide programs. Administered through a state's Department of Education in collaboration with child welfare agencies, statewide special education surrogate parent programs guarantee well-qualified decision makers who will advocate for all children eligible for special education services. (Author abstract)
Foster children; Special education; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Early intervention programs; Special needs; Child advocacy