Special Education: Educational Decision-Making

When voluntary custody has been given to DCF or a CHINS petition is in effect and no specific legal action has been taken to remove decision-making rights from the parent, the parent retains educational decision-making rights.

If the natural parent is unwilling or unavailable for a period of time and the student is in a foster placement, the foster parent may automatically serve as the educational decision-maker.  If the student is in a placement other than a foster placement, DCF may request assignment of an Educational Surrogate Parent.

If a child is living with extended family members (“kinship” home) such persons can be considered “foster” parents for the purposes of educational decision-making.

If the student is referred for an evaluation for special education services, or already receiving special education services, it is assumed that the parent, foster parent or extended family member with whom the child lives is the educational decision-maker.