Session Track

Maximizing the Juvenile Court System for Young Children

Session Time

June 27

Most caseworkers understand that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives the “parent” of a special education student the right to have input into the educational programming of that student. IDEA defines a “parent” very broadly – a biological or adoptive parent, a foster parent, a guardian generally or someone with whom the child lives who acts as the parent. But what about children who have no adult active in their lives? Or a child who’s biological parent is so impaired that he or she cannot meaningfully participate in meetings about the child? Under those circumstances, the school district must appoint a “surrogate parent.” Karen Haase, a Nebraska attorney who focuses her practice on representing public school districts, will review state and federal regulations related to surrogate parents, will explain the obligations that must be shouldered by individuals who agree to serve as surrogate parents, and will provide advocates and attorneys with suggestions for best practices in interacting with school districts on behalf of these vulnerable children.