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Surrogate Parent Training

Surrogate Parent Training

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires that children with disabilities who do not have parents to advocate for them in the special education process be given a surrogate parent to make decisions about special education issues.  According to Disability Rights Ohio, a surrogate parent "acts in the place of a child's natural parent to make decisions about the child's education when the child's natural parent is unavailable to make decisions. A parent is unavailable when he or she cannot be located or when he or she chooses not to act as a parent for the child. A parent is also unavailable if he or she has lost the ability to act as parent by court order. 
 
The surrogate parent makes decisions for a child with a disability 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. For a young child receiving Early Intervention services, a surrogate makes decisions for the child in all matters relating to the provision of Early Intervention services."
 
Who is eligible to act as a Surrogate Parent? 
A person who:
  • Is not an employee of the ODE, the school district, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child;
  • Has no personal or professional interest that conflict with the child’s interests;
  • Has knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child; and
  • Has successfully completed training prescribed by ODE.

 To access Ohio's Surrogate Parent Training Online Course, by visiting the Surrogate Parent Training webpage. 

 

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