4 Who Has the Educational Rights for My Child? As the parent, YOU are the “Holder of Educational Rights” for your child even if your child is in foster care or living with a relative, unless the court makes a legal determination to limit your educational rights.
5 What does it mean to be the Holder of Educational Rights? You continue to make decisions to help your child learn in school.
6 Why Is It Important to Know Who Has the Educational Rights? To know who will be making decisions for the child at school. To get your child’s school records for the Children’s Social Worker to do a better job to help your child. You will be asked to sign giving permission. By signing this form, you are not giving up your educational rights.
7 Why Is It Important to Know Who Has the Educational Rights for Children Needing Special Education Services? If needed for your child, to get Special Education services: You can ask the school for extra help for your child. Your signature is needed to permission for your child to have an assessment To have you be part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to listen and share information You are needed to sign the IEP to get your child special education help.
8 What Happens if You Cannot Do the Things Needed as the Holder of Educational Rights for Your Child? If you are unable or unwilling to fulfill the responsibilities needed to address the needs of your child’s education: The judge can end or limit your educational rights. The judge can give the educational rights to someone else. Talk with your Dependency court Attorney if you have questions about this.
9 Who can be Given My Education Rights? In the event that your education rights are limited, the Court will name a “Responsible Adult”. This person will make all the education related decisions for your child. This person will sign school related papers for your child.
10 Who can be the “Responsible Adult”? A person appointed by the court can be a: Relative Caregiver Foster Parent CASA Adult important in the child’s life A person appointed by the school for special education students is a: Surrogate Parent
11 Who Cannot Be Appointed As the “Responsible Adult”? Children’s Social Worker Group Home Provider Child’s or Parent’s Attorney Anyone with a conflict of interest
13 What Rights Do I Have at the School? You, as the “holder of education rights” have the right to go to the school to talk about your child’s educational progress unless the court has limited your educational rights.
14 What is NOT Included in Your Visit at the School? You cannot visit with your child at the school. All visitations with your child must be authorized by the court and arranged in coordination with the Children’s Social Worker.
15 Parent Responsibilities as Holder of Educational Rights
16 What Are My Responsibilities As the Holder of Educational Rights? You are needed to: Share which school you believe best meets the needs of your child. Do you want your child to stay in the “School of Origin” or a new school?
17 What Does “School of Origin” Mean? The school your child: Attended before being placed in foster care Was the last school attended before any move OR Has a link to services, a teacher, a coach, or peers For the child’s best interest.
18 Why Is “School of Origin” Important? To help your child stay in the same school from the beginning of the school year to the end and not have to change everything for a new school.
19 Why is Staying in the Same School is Important for Your Child? To continue your child’s learning without interruption To keep the same books and lessons. This will help your child learn better To keep your child’s same teacher and friends For teens, to keep the same school can help with class credits needed for graduation
20 What Do I Need to Do to Keep My Child in the “School of Origin? Decide if if you think it is in the child’s best interest to remain in the “School of Origin”. Talk with the school your child attended to keep him/her in the “School of Origin”. Discuss with the school, social worker, and caregiver ways to transport your child to the “School of Origin”.
21 What Other Education Related Responsibilities Do I Have? Sign the authorization for the Children’s Social Worker to receive your child’s school records. The records are needed to help your child succeed in school. If your child is in special education participate in the IEP process.
22 What Other Education Related Responsibilities Do I Have? continued Attend school meetings related to your child’s education such as: Parent-Teacher Conference Back to School Night Individualized Education Program (IEP) Student Success/Study Team (SST) Student Attendance Review Board (SARB) Other meetings regarding your child’s education
23 How can I Support the Child’s Education? You can encourage your child: To do his/her best in school Complete all homework assignments Read for fun
24 How can I Support the Child’s Education? You can work with your child to do his/her best in school. Check your child’s homework assignments at visits. Read to your child. Have your child read to you. Read a book together (for fun).
25 What are Others Doing to Help My Child’s Education?
26 What is the Children’s Social Worker’s Responsibilities to the Court regarding the Child’s Education? To provide copies of school records: Grade / credit / transcripts Attendance Immunization Standardized test scores IEP or 504 Plan (if the child is receiving special education services) To respond in the court report to the Judge’s questions about the child’s education status and progress.
27 What is the Foster Parent’s Role related to Education Rights? The foster parent can only represent the educational interest of the child when the child is placed in a planned permanent living arrangement and the juvenile court has limited the rights of the parent to make educational decisions. If the parent’s education rights have not been limited by the court, the foster parent may attend the IEP meeting to share and gain information related to the child’s education. However the foster parent is not authorized to sign the IEP document.
28 What Does the Judge Want to Know About My Child’s Education? The Judge will ask at each regular hearing for all children: Is the child in school? Has the child changed schools? Is the child attending daily / all classes? Does the child have basic literacy skills? What is the academic improvement in the past 6 months?
29 What Does the Judge Want to Know About My Child’s Education? continued Does the child have a place to do homework daily? Who helps? Is the child participating in extra curricular activities? Has the child experienced suspension, expulsion, or an involuntary transfer? Does the child have a library card? Who has educational rights?
30 The Judges Role The Judge will determine if your education rights as a parent need to be limited and assign a responsible adult to advocate for your child.
31 What are the Attorneys’ Responsibilities Related to Education? The Child’s Attorney will advocate for the child, including school stability and what is in the “best interest of the child”. The Parent’s Attorney will advocate for your parental concerns at court and what you believe is in your child’s best interest.
33 What services can a Parent request at the school for children not in special education? Many schools have additional services on school grounds, like: After-school Tutoring Programs Sports, music, etc. Mental Health Services Other services to help your child learn
34 Information About Special Education Services Children learn in a variety of ways and most children learn effectively in a traditional setting. However, sometimes children need additional help. Children with disabilities may be eligible to receive special education services.
35 What is Special Education? Every child receiving special education services has the right to a free public school education in the least restrictive environment (LRE), which provides for interactions with nondisabled peers. This includes: Partial day attendance in general education classes Participating in extracurricular activities It is “specially designed instruction” to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability.
36 How Do I Know If My Child Needs Special Education Services? If your child has difficulties that interfere with his/her ability to learn, he/she will need to be assessed to determine eligibility for special education services. Some examples of areas to be assessed are: Speech and Language Development Vision Hearing Physical Development Academic Development Think / Memory Skills Attention / Perception Skills Social / Emotional Development Living Skills
37 Federal Law Ensures Special Education Services are Available in the Schools Educational services provided in public schools are based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law renamed in 1991. IDEA address children with educational disabilities from ages birth to 21 years of age. An educational disability is a condition that prevents a child from benefiting from his/her education, not necessarily based on a child’s intelligence. Each child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) designed to address the child’s unique needs.
38 What Responsibilities does the Parent have Related to Special Education Services? If your child needs extra services at school to improve his/her learning opportunities, you must give the school administrator a written request to have a psycho educational assessment of your child. This will include signing the authorization for the assessment. Only the Holder of the Education Rights can authorize the assessment.
39 What Does the Assessment Include? An assessment includes gathering information about your child to determine whether your child has a disability. The information may include: Individual testing Observations Interviews of the child, current caregiver, and you Reviews of school records Reports Work samples
40 How Long Will the Assessment Take? The school district must respond in writing to your request for an assessment within 15 days. If it is decided an assessment is appropriate there will be an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting held within 50 days.
41 What Responsibilities Do I Have Related to Special Education Services? Attend the IEP meeting. Share your ideas about how to improve your child’s learning. Review the IEP plan. If your agree to the IEP plan, sign the form to enable your child to receive special education services.
43 If You Need Help or Information: Discuss your concern with the teacher, then the school principal. Contact the Educational Liaison for children in foster care at the local school district. Share your concern with the Children’s Social Worker. Talk with your Dependency Court Attorney. Check the computer network or go to the local library to gather information about specific concerns.
44 For Additional Information List of Local Education Agency (LEA) Education Liaisons For Foster Children in school district List of Los Angeles County Schools List of Los Angeles Unified Schools Check www.dcfs.co.la.ca.us