Fred Rogers Room

Surrogate Parent Program


If you or someone you know has an interest in serving as a surrogate parent, please contact:

Dr. Haley Noonan, Psy.D
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Westmoreland Intermediate Unit

(724) 219-2367 office | 724-836-4235 fax


The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit (WIU 7) will help ensure that a trained individual is assigned to act as the surrogate parent for children in need of an adult to look after their educational interests. The WIU will assist Local Education Agency’s in providing a surrogate parent who will have legal authority to act on behalf of an IDEA eligible child in the special education process.


Criteria to Request a Surrogate Parent:

After reasonable efforts, the School District cannot locate the parent(s) or

The student is a ward of the state, or

  • The student’s parent or guardian cannot be found or identified or
  • The child is an unaccompanied homeless youth, as defined in section 725(6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434(a)(6)) 

Qualifications Surrogate Parent:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a person of good character
  • Possess reasonable abilities to make decisions regarding a student’s educational needs
  • Be willing to acquaint themselves with the special education system in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Is not an employee of the State Education Agency, the Local Education Agency or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child/student
  • Has no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child the surrogate parent represents

Responsibilities of a Surrogate:

The surrogate parent may represent the student in all matters relating to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement of the child and the provision of FAPE to the child.  This involves: 

  • Becoming familiar with the unique educational needs of the assigned student.
  • Receiving and responding to requests and notices concerning the evaluation and/or educational placement of the assigned student
  • Attending meetings to develop an individual educational program
  • Being familiar with appropriate procedures for due process and confidentiality of school records
  • Be willing to complete a training program conducted by the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit; The School District works in conjunction with the Westmoreland -Intermediate Unit to select, train, and assign surrogate parent volunteers.