The Educational Surrogate Parent Training Program
Children need help to ensure they receive appropriate school services; especially children with certain disabilities who meet certain guidelines are in need for Educational Surrogate Parents.

Who needs an educational surrogate parent?
Children with disabilities who meet all of the following criteria:
  • Children whose parents are unavailable to act on their educational behalf.
  • Live in residential facilities.
  • Children who are under the guardianship of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or the Department of Corrections (DOC) or are homeless.
Why are educational Surrogate Parents Needed?
  • To advocate for, and protect the educational rights of students with disabilities.
  • To ensure that the school provides the student with a free, appropriate public education (FAPE).
Why are educational surrogate parents assigned to students with disabilities whose parents are unavailable?
Both federal and state law mandate that Educational Surrogate Parents be assigned to protect the educational rights of students with disabilities on matters relating to: Identification, Evaluation, and Special Education placement.

What are the responsibilities of an educational surrogate parent?
While this is a volunteer position, an Educational Surrogate Parent has the responsibility to ensure that the school provides the student with a free, appropriate public education (FAPE).  To accomplish this responsibility, the Educational Surrogate Parent:
  • Attends and participates in school meetings
  • Works with the school staff to determine eligibility and develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
  • Advocates for the educational interests of the student.
  • Consents for assessments and initial placement.
  • Communicates with the student's caseworker.
  • May file a complaint or request mediation or due process.
  • Is eligible for a small service stipend.
Who is an educational surrogate parent?
An Educational Surrogate Parent is a person who believes that the education is a vital part in the life of every child and who:
  • Is a citizen over the age of 18.
  • Is NOT employed by the Illinois STate Board of Education, The Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Corrections or the facility the assigned child resides in.
  • Has successfully completed a prescribed training program.  A stipend will be provided.
  • Is available to participate in special education conferences at school and other activities as deemed necessary.

For more information regarding the Educational Surrogate Training Parent Program, please call or email:
The School Association for Special Education in DuPage County (630) 955 - 8055
The Illinois State Board of Education (217) 792 - 5589
or visit