Surrogate Parent Program

  • The state of Missouri and SSD are asking for volunteers to act as surrogate parents for special education students who are without a parent to represent them in educational decisions.

    State and federal laws require that these students have surrogates. The greatest number of surrogates is needed for students who are in the legal custody of the Division of Family Services and reside in a residential facility.

    Major responsibilities include participating in the development of the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP), attending teacher conferences, and representing the child in complaint or due process procedures. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provides training for volunteers appointed as surrogate parents.

    Surrogates have no responsibility for physical or financial care of the student, nor are they liable for civil damages as a result of representing the student in educational decisions.

    For information about the Surrogate Parent Program, contact Emily Boeckmann at 314.989.8125 or DESE at 573.751.0699.