Registration is Open for the Training for the Illinois State Board of Education’s Educational Surrogate Parent Program

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Family Matters Will Be Providing Training for the Illinois State Board of Education’s Educational Surrogate Parent Program
June 15, 2021,
6:00pm to 9:00pm
June 16, 2021
6:00pm to 9:00pm
If you are interested in serving as an educational surrogate parent for children in Illinois who need representation, we have two options for you. The required training on the special education process is six hours in length. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, there will not be any in-person training. The June training option has two 3-hour sessions in the evening on 2 consecutive days. Both sessions have to be completed to fulfill the training requirement. All training will be offered through Go-to-Webinar, online only.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email with the log-in information for the training option you selected.
An Educational Surrogate Parent is an individual who has been appointed to represent the educational interests of a child with disabilities when:​
  • No parent (as defined under 34 CFR 300.30) can be identified;
  • The parent cannot be located;
  • The child is a youth in care; or
  • The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth.​​​
What are the responsibilities?
  • 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 Individualized Education Program (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;
  • Reports services twice a year (also basis for reimbursement)​​​.
By volunteering as an educational surrogate parent, he/she becomes an important member of a team in determining and ensuring a child receives a free and appropriate public education. The educational surrogate parent must:
  1. Complete the entire training (An educational surrogate parent application must be completed during the training.),
  2. Pass the training exam, and
  3. Complete and pass a background check.
Is there reimbursement for expenses?
An educational surrogate parent (ESP) is eligible to receive a flat fee ($50) stipend for expenses incurred while providing services. To be eligible for the stipend, the ESP must have provided at least one of the following services:
  1. Observed the student at school
  2. Met with personnel involved in the student’s education
  3. Met with personnel involved in the student’s care
  4. Attended meetings in person (virtually during Covid) to develop or review the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP)
ESPs submit a form twice a year to request the stipend for each service provided to each student the ESP serves. An ESP can also choose to forego the stipend and volunteer their time.​