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          24:05:30:15.  Surrogate parents. Each school district shall establish procedures for the assignment of a surrogate parent to ensure that the rights of a child are protected if no parent, as defined in ยง 24:05:13:04, can be identified and the district, after reasonable effort, cannot locate a parent or if the child is a ward of the state or the child is an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in section 725(6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended to January 1, 2009. A district's method for determining whether a child needs a surrogate parent must include the following:


          (1)  The identification of staff members at the district or building level responsible for referring students in need of a surrogate parent;


          (2)  The provision of in-service training on the criteria in this section for determining whether a child needs a surrogate parent; and


          (3)  The establishment of a referral system within the district for the appointment of a surrogate parent.


          If a child is a ward of the state, the surrogate parent alternatively may be appointed by the judge overseeing the child's case, if the surrogate meets the requirements of this section.


          The district superintendent or designee shall appoint surrogate parents.


          The district shall ensure that a person selected as a surrogate has no personal or professional interest that conflicts with the interest of the child the surrogate represents and has knowledge and skills that ensure adequate representation of the child. The district is responsible for the training and certification of surrogate parents and shall maintain a list of persons who may serve as surrogate parents.


          A person assigned as a surrogate may not be an employee of the department, district, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child.


          If a child is an unaccompanied homeless youth, appropriate staff of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, independent living programs, and street outreach programs may be appointed as temporary surrogate parents, without regard to the nonemployee provision above, until a surrogate parent can be appointed who meets all of the requirements of this section.


          A person who otherwise qualifies to be a surrogate under the provisions of this section is not an employee of the agency solely because the person is paid by the agency to serve as a surrogate parent.


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


          The department shall make reasonable efforts to ensure the assignment of a surrogate parent not more than 30 days after a district determines that the child needs a surrogate parent.


          Source: 16 SDR 68, effective October 15, 1989; 21 SDR 39, effective August 28, 1994; 23 SDR 31, effective September 8, 1996; 26 SDR 150, effective May 22, 2000; 33 SDR 236, effective July 5, 2007; 36 SDR 96, effective December 8, 2009.

          General Authority: SDCL 13-37-1.1.

          Law Implemented: SDCL 13-37-1.1, 13-37-2.1 13-37-27.


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