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1. Provides for parental consent for initial evaluation of children who are wards of the state.
If the child is a ward of the state and is not residing with the child's parent, the agency shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the informed consent from the parent (as defined in Section 602(23)) of the child for an initial evaluation to determine whether the child is a child with a disability (as defined in Section 602(3)). The agency shall not be required to obtain informed consent from the parent of a child for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability if:
  • Despite reasonable efforts to do so, the agency cannot discover the whereabouts of the parent of the child;
  • The rights of the parents of the child have been terminated in accordance with state law; or
  • The rights of the parent to make educational decisions have been subrogated by a judge in accordance with state law and consent for an initial evaluation has been given by an individual appointed by the judge to represent the child.


Definition of “ward of the state.”
The term “ward of the state” means a child who, as determined by the state where the child resides, is a foster child, is a ward of the state, or is in the custody of a public child welfare agency. The term does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a parent in Section 602(23). [602(36)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. What might be the benefits of this new provision?

  2. What might be some concerns of this new provision?

  3. Why might it be important to continue to have the parent involved in the decision-making process for their child’s education?

Application Questions

  1. What do you think should constitute a “reasonable effort” in obtaining informed consent from a parent?

  2. How can we best engage parents who do not have physical custody of their children in the evaluation process?

  3. What procedures does your SEA/LEA currently have in place to identify the parent(s) of children who are wards of the state?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Special Education Researcher
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: School Psychologist
    Location: Maryland:

    Role: Administrator
    Location: Illinois

    Role: LD Researcher
    Location: Kansas

    Role: Related Services Provider
    Location: Ohio

    Role: Parent Advocate
    Location: Maryland