Educational Surrogate Parent Program (VESPP)
The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the Vermont state Special Education Rules and Regulations ensure that the educational rights of infants, toddlers and students are represented in the special education process. Parental involvement in planning a child’s special education program is required by both federal and state regulations. Surrogate parent volunteers fill the parental role in the special education process and represent students who are in state custody or whose parents are not known or cannot be located or unaccompanied homeless youth.
This intake form is completed and faxed to VT-AOE when a student
is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families
(DCF) AND is eligible for special education (or in need of a
special education evaluation) for children and youth ages
Birth-21. This form is most often completed by DCF social
workers. Staff from Children's Integrated Services (CIS) and
school district/supervisory union staff may also complete this
The department and the Agency of Human Services/Department of
Families and Children are working to improve the delivery of
special education services to students who have been placed at
Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center (Woodside). Many students
placed at Woodside are eligible for special education services or
504 accommodations and they must be afforded all of their rights
under the law. Students with IEPs or 504 Plans who stay at
Woodside for more than 10 days are entitled to receive
appropriate special education services and/or accommodations and
modifications. For questions, contact Ernest Wheeler.
The department needs assistance in support of Vermont DCF Family
Services Policy 151 (Educational Issues for Children in Custody)
which states: "To assist in ensuring the stability of educational
services for children in DCF custody, DCF workers are now
required to obtain report cards and attendance information for
all children in DCF custody." The Agency of Education requests
that schools provide copies of the final report card for each
student in custody who is either in special education or being
evaluated for special education as soon as possible after the
current school year. For information or questions, contact Alicia Hanrahan.
Surrogate Parent Program (VESPP) Brochure
This brochure provides a description of VESPP’s services and
regional coordinator contact information needed to make a
referral on behalf of a student who requires a surrogate parent.
State Board of Education Rules Related to Surrogate Parents
View pertinent sections of special education rule 2369.
Ernest Wheeler, Education Consultant, at email@example.com or (802) 479-1252
Page Last Updated on January 24, 2016