Select Language: English | Spanish
Menu Close

(9.30) Can an active probation officer or social worker serve as a surrogate parent and authorize services for my child on an IEP?

(9.30) Can an active probation officer or social worker serve as a surrogate parent and authorize services for my child on an IEP?

No. California allows only “retired teachers, social workers, and probation officerswho are not employees of any agency that is involved in the care of the child” to be surrogate parent. [Gov. Code Sec. 7579.5(j).] If the legislature excluded social workers and probation officers from being appointed by school districts to be surrogate parent, it is unlikely the legislature intended that courts appoint these individuals as substitute decision makers for special education students either.

Moreover, both state and federal special education law prohibit the state, when the child is a ward of the state, from acting in the role of the parent. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56028(c); 34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.30(a)(3) & 300.519(d)(2).]