Join us on Tues, Feb 12, 6pm in CASA Office for our Surrogate Parent Training!
For all who have NOT had it, Judge Rotenberry has asked that each of our CASA Advocates take part in a “Surrogate Parenting” training at some point.
This training gives you a broader scope of authority when sitting in at ARD/educational meetings because as the surrogate parent, you can actually sign off/authorize the service/plan being discussed.
A trained surrogate parent might also be contacted by AISD to attend/serve with children who are NOT in foster care but in a situation where parents are not actively involved, and a parental role is needed in order to ensure the child’s rights are being respected and to help make educational decisions for the child. See below:
When is a Surrogate Parent needed?
Prior to the initiation of any action requiring parent involvement, consent, and signatures, a surrogate parent must be assigned to ensure that the rights of a student are protected when:
- the student is in conservatorship of the State or
- no parent can be identified or
- after reasonable efforts by the school district, the whereabouts of a parent cannot be discovered or
- the parent will not respond or engage in educational process for the child
Who can be a Surrogate Parent?
To meet state and federal regulations, a surrogate parent is someone who:
- has no interests in conflict with the student’s interests
- is not employed by a public agency involved in the care or education of the student
- is knowledgeable about: state and federal requirements, school district special education guidelines, and student’s needs, disability and strengths
- is skilled, knowledgeable, and adequately trained and able to represent the student
What are the responsibilities of a Surrogate Parent?
To adequately represent the child and effectively advocate for an appropriate education, surrogate parents may do the following:
- learn about the child’s educational needs by observing or talking to the student at school; reviewing the child’s class work, assessment reports, and/or ARD reports; and by talking with teachers, therapists, caseworkers, counselors, or other professionals involved in the student’s education
- participate in school meetings to plan or make changes in the student’s individual educational program
- serve as the child’s representative by requisitioning appropriate educational services
- represent the student in any complaint or due process procedure
Should you be contacted by AISD to sit in for a child not in foster care, you are NOT making a long term commitment to the child! You are just helping them make the best educational decision for that child at that particular meeting! We’ve had many of our Advocates serve in this way and they report that it’s not difficult or time consuming.
We think it’s a wonderful program that gives each child the support and voice they need to ensure their educational needs are being met in the best possible way!