45-10 Surrogate Parents
||The Department of Children and Families shall ensure that a
surrogate parent is appointed for any child within the care of the Department who is
eligible for such a service.
Legal Reference: CONN. GEN. STAT. §10-94f
||A surrogate parent is a
person appointed by the Commissioner of the State Department of Education (SDE) to serve
as the childs advocate in the educational decision-making process or early
intervention decision-making process in place of the childs parent or guardian.
educational decision-making process includes all
matters related to special education including referral, evaluation, eligibility
determination, Individualized Education Program (IEP) design, IEP service delivery, and
due process procedures.
The early intervention decision-making process
includes all matters related to early intervention services (the Birth to Three program)
including referral, evaluation, eligibility determination, Individualized Family Service
Plan (IFSP) design, IFSP service delivery, and due process procedures.
The Local Education Agency (LEA) provides special
education and related services to eligible children, three (3) to twenty-one (21) years of
age (school-aged children).
The Regional Family Service Coordination Center (RFSCC)
provides early intervention services (Birth to Three Program) to eligible children less
than three (3) years of age.
|When is a Child
Eligible for a Surrogate Parent?
||A child is eligible to have a surrogate parent appointed if
- the child requires, or may require, special education or early intervention services
- at least one of the following is applicable:
- The Commissioner of DCF has been appointed as the childs guardian or statutory
- the childs parent or guardian
- cannot be identified
- cannot be located
- is unavailable to represent the child regarding special education or early intervention
services and agrees, or fails to object, to the appointment of a surrogate parent.
|Procedures to Appoint a
||The table below presents the procedures for requesting the
appointment of a surrogate parent.
Note: The DCF staff member
responsible for the case may be either the childs DCF Social Worker or DCF Parole
Services Officer, as designated.
|Department / Person
|DCF Staff Member
||Telephone the Local Education Agency (LEA) or
Regional Family Service Coordination center (RFSCC) to advise of the need for the
appointment of a surrogate parent.
Within two (2) working
days of placement of the child or of a change in the child's status which requires formal
- send the LEA form DCF-603, "Notification to LEA of a Department
Placement," and a copy to the SDE Surrogate Parent Program.
Note: No written notice is sent to the
Cross-Reference: Policy 45-5,
"Notification to the Local Education Agency of a DCF Placement".
|LEA or RFSCC which has jurisdiction for the
||Submit a referral application to the SDE to appoint the
surrogate parent (SDE form, "Application for Referral to the Surrogate Parent
Note: When the child is under the guardianship of the Commissioner of
DCF, the initial referral must include a "Certificate of Child Status Form", (an
SDE form) to be completed by the DCF staff member or immediate supervisor. If the LEA or
RFSCC does not already have a copy of this form, they will notify DCF to complete and
|DCF Staff Member or Supervisor
||Upon request of the LEA or RFSCC,
- complete the "Certificate of Child Status Form", and submit it to the LEA,
RFSCC or SDE, as requested, within two days of the request (see above).
|State Department of Education
- Appoint the surrogate parent.
- Send a letter of appointment to the surrogate parent and a copy to DCF.
|DCF Staff Member
||Then the DCF staff member shall...
|DCF does not receive written notification from
the SDE regarding the identity of the surrogate parent
the DCF staff member believes that the LEA or RFSCC has not requested the
|complete and forward to the LEA or RFSCC the following
- DCF-2132, "Request for a Surrogate Parent"
- the "Certificate of Child Status Form"
|no response is received from the LEA or RFSCC
within two (2) weeks of the above request
||request the assistance of the USD II Education Consultant.
|USD II Education Consultant
||The Education Consultant shall
- telephone the LEA or RFSCC to follow-up on the request
- if necessary, submit an "Application for Referral to the Surrogate Parent
Program" to the SDE
|DCF Staff Member
||Upon notification from the SDE of the identity of the
- record the surrogate parents name, address, and telephone number in the DCF
uniform case record, educational section.
cation with the Surrogate Parent
|The DCF staff member shall
- communicate with the surrogate parent, as appropriate
- ensure that the surrogate parent receives the following:
- notice of a placement of the child by DCF and/or of information which changes the status
of that placement.
Note: The DCF staff member shall provide such notification to the SDE
on DCF-603, and the SDE will forward the information to the surrogate parents.
Because the SDE assigns surrogate parents based upon the location of the childs
residence, a different surrogate parent may be appointed each time DCF moves the child to
a different town or residential facility.
- an invitation to participate in each Placement Review Team Meeting
- a copy of each determination made by the Placement Review Team.
Cross-Reference: Policy 45-6-2, "Placement
|USD II Consultation
||The USD II Superintendent of Schools shall assign USD II
Education Consultants to provide consultation, including training and assistance, to other
DCF personnel regarding surrogate parent matters.
Upon request from the DCF staff member
or supervisory personnel, the Education Consultant shall
- review the status of the child to determine if he/she is eligible to have a surrogate
- ensure that the LEA or RFSCC has requested the appointment of a surrogate parent, when
the DCF staff member has been unsuccessful in this regard
- complete an "Application for Referral to the Surrogate Parent Program," if no
LEA or RFSCC will complete such application for an eligible child, when appropriate
- interact with the State Department of Education to identify the surrogate parent
- attempt to resolve any issues between the DCF staff member and the surrogate parent.
|Surrogate Parent Access
to DCF Records
||The surrogate parent has the same right of access to
DCF records as would the childs natural parent or guardian regardless of whether
such parent or guardian retains such rights.
|Foster Parent as
||The SDE Commissioner may appoint a childs foster parent
to serve as the childs surrogate parent if
- the DCF Commissioner has been appointed the childs guardian and/or statutory
- the foster parent has made a request to the SDE for such appointment
- the childs Social Worker certifies in writing to SDE that DCF supports such
Note: The foster parent shall be in good standing and actively support
the Departments treatment goals and plans.
The SDE is responsible for providing training to a foster parent who is appointed as a
Connecticut Department of Children and Families Effective Date: July 15, 1995 (New)