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Integrity Educational Services

Surrogate Parent

Central Office · Grand Rapids, Michigan
Department Central Office
Employment Type Volunteer
Minimum Experience Entry-level

Integrity Educational Services is currently seeking Volunteer Surrogate Parents for at-risk students at Lighthouse Academy. Surrogate parents are assigned to students when the parent is not available to ensure the rights of students are protected.


What do surrogates do?

A surrogate parent represents the interests of the child in the special education decision-making process; specifically:  

The identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child; and

The provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to the child (34 c.f.r. § 300.519(g)).

One question that will always be asked in an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting is whether there are any "parental concerns." This is where the surrogate parent advocates for the student, and what will be best for the student's education and future after school. 


Why should I be a surrogate parent?

Volunteering to be a surrogate parent is a great way to get involved with your community and to help protect the rights of an individual child.


What are the requirements to be a surrogate parent?

Completed Volunteer Application

Signed Volunteer Handbook

Completed Criminal Conviction Disclosure Form

Completed ICHAT Background Check

If selected as a surrogate parent, you will receive training to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to ensure adequate representation of the student.


What disqualifies someone to be a surrogate parent?

The following persons are not permitted to serve as a surrogate parent:

an employee of the academy in  which the student is enrolled or an employee of any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child; or

a person who has a personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child who requires the assignment of a surrogate parent.


How often will I be needed to participate in meetings?

A surrogate parent is only responsible for representing the child when decisions about the child’s special education program are made concerning:

  • Identification of the need for the child to receive special education services
  • Evaluation to determine his/her individual needs
  • Design of his/her individualized education program, including placement
  • Ongoing reviews of educational progress
  • Disagreement with the school's educational proposals


The Academy must convene at least one (1) IEP team meeting per year for each student with a disability (or each student suspected of having a disability.)  Whether additional meetings are required will depend on how the student is performing in school and if changes to the IEP need to be made.


How long do IEP team meetings normally last? 

IEP team meetings typically last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, but each student’s situation is unique and the length of the IEP team meeting will depend on the type of case and how many people are involved


Where will these IEP team meetings take place?

Typically an IEP team meeting will be convened at the school in which the student is enrolled.  Please let us know if you are interested in a tour if you are not familiar with our schools.


Is there Further Training available?

Yes.  Training for surrogate parents is available through the Kent Intermediate School District (ISD).  The Kent ISD also is available to field questions from surrogate parents.



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  • Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Department
    Central Office
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience