The Maine Department of Education is seeking volunteers for the Educational Surrogate Parent Program. An educational surrogate parent is a caring individual who acts as a part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team to ensure that a child with a disability and who is a child in the custody of the State or is considered homeless, is provided with equal educational opportunities.
An educational surrogate parent:
- 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 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.
Over 150 students in Maine currently need a surrogate parent appointed to assist them with their educational program and rights. Past and current educational surrogates include current and former teachers, special education directors, business professionals, doctors, guardian ad litems, direct support professionals, stay at home parents, retired people, ed. techs, former foster parents, family members who have had a student with a disability, members of civic organizations, nurses, occupational therapists, advocates for children, social workers, and former law enforcement. Travel reimbursement is available.