Information regarding the Educational Surrogate Parent Program and Facilitation of Special Education Team Meetings.

Educational Surrogate Parent Program

The Educational Surrogate Parent Program, coordinated through the New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, provides children with disabilities, throughout the State Educational Surrogate Parents. These Educational Surrogates are provided to those children who need special education and their parent(s) or guardian is unknown or unavailable, after reasonable efforts the parent/guardian cannot be located, or the child is in custody/guardianship of the state. Children are provided with an Educational Surrogate Parent to act as the child's educational decision-maker in the special education process.

How to Request an Educational Surrogate Parent for children ages 2 ½ -22

When the financially responsible district determines that a child is in need of an educational surrogate parent, they will submit the request electronically via myNHDOE at the myNHDOE website . Requests for appointment of a surrogate parent must be submitted by the District of Liability’s Director of Special Education or their designee. If you believe a child in your district needs an educational surrogate parent, please reach out to your Director to initiate the request. 

Requirements for requesting the appointment of a surrogate parent include:

•    Underage of Majority Affidavit - Completed and notarized
•    Court Documentation- Judge’s Order and/or Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) paperwork or
•    Record of Attempts to locate/reach parent/guardian

Enrich a Child’s Future

The Educational Surrogate Parent Program is looking for caring individuals who are committed to children and understand the importance of education. 

How to Become a Volunteer Educational Surrogate Parent

The program certifies volunteers, who successfully complete the training and training requirements, to act as educational surrogate parents. Once certified, volunteers are appointed to a child and that appointment is effective until the child reaches 18 years of age and may be extended in certain cases until the child graduates high school or up to the age of 22, whichever occurs first.

To become a certified educational surrogate parent, you must be at least 21 years of age, complete an application that includes a background check and 3 references, successfully complete a training, and pass the educational surrogate parent test. 

Application and willingness statement to become a volunteer educational surrogate parent

Reference form

The Bureau also contracts with individuals as Master Educational Surrogates through the RFP and contract process. These Educational Surrogates complete the same work as volunteers however have more cases, usually more complex cases and have more experience in special education. For more information regarding Master Educational Surrogates, you can contact the Bureau. 
Educational surrogate parents only represent a child in their education, and they are not responsible for any direct care or financial cost associated with the child (including Medicaid to Schools). Specifically, as an educational surrogate parent, you would fill the role of a parent at all of the child's Special Education Team meetings.

Facilitation of Special Education Team Meetings

Upon request, the Bureau of Special Education Support (Bureau) may provide, at no cost, an IEP Team meeting Facilitator. Both the District and the parent(s) or guardian(s) must agree to have a Facilitator attend the meeting. Upon receipt of the IEP Team Meeting Facilitator application, a trained Facilitator will be selected by the Bureau to conduct a regular Special Education Team meeting, which has been scheduled and arranged by the District. The Facilitator will attend the meeting in person and can be made available for out-of-district team meetings, given that the meeting is held within the state.

The Facilitator has no personal interest or bias in the content, or the outcome, of the meeting. The Facilitator will attend solely to conduct the meeting and to assist in keeping the meeting productive and guides the discussions and decision making process. Facilitators are available for any customary topic of a Team meeting, including, but not limited to, disposition of referral, evaluation planning, determination of eligibility, and the development or revision of the IEP, including transition planning, ESY services, and selection of placement.

The Facilitation program runs year-round (including summer) and can serve during any function of the Special Education process. The Bureau requires that the request for a Facilitator is submitted and received at least 10 days prior to the scheduled Team meeting date. A new request will also need to be submitted for any subsequent meetings. The Bureau may require specific information regarding the scheduled meeting including, but not limited to, the parent notice information, date, time, place, topic, and participants.

IEP Team Meeting Facilitator Request Form


Danielle Pelletier
Education Consultant II