Surrogate Parent Training The Department of Education

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Surrogate Parent Training, For The Department of Education, Facilitated by Voices for Children Miami, Florida May 21, 2015

On May 21st, 2015 I arrived at 601 NW 1st Avenue 10th Floor to attend a training with Voices for Children, a national and statewide agency that is volunteer based. Earlier in May, I had completed training for their Guardian Ad Litem program, yet wanted to advance my knowledge base to better serve the youth within my community. The training was facilitated by Mrs. Flora Beal, of The Voices for Children Volunteer Guardian Ad Litem Program and instructed by Dr. Terry Vaccaro, Executive Director of The Office of Exceptional Student Education and Student Support, Division of Special Education. With a thirty year career in special education, Terry shared his wealth of knowledge in the difference a Surrogate Parent can make in a child’s life. As one anonymous trainee confessed at times she is discouraged as a volunteer, as she cannot always gauge whether she is effective, Terry shared personal stories of times he did not discover the difference he made in a child’s life until several years later.

Who can become a surrogate parent? Almost anybody. At minimal it requires a few hours every school year. At maximum, an active role as a surrogate parent can ensure that the child is getting what he or she needs to achieve in school and to not be left behind. A surrogate parent, unlike a tutor, is not required to work with a student on particular classroom tasks. Rather, the surrogate’s principle responsibility is to co-design an Individualized Education Plan that will best address the needs of that particular student. IEP’s are customary to use for students with behavioral health or special needs. To become a surrogate parent, contact Dr. Vaccaro at tvaccaro@dadeschools.net in Miami or contact your local school board.

Saylove, Periodismo Nacional con Calidad Internacional, Reportera con el Sindicato de Medios de Comunicación de Nicaragua, y Artista Internacional @earthsaylove www.hiphop.global/foundation

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