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Family & Community Engagement

DCIU's Department of Teaching & Learning provide education and resources for parents and families to be connected as partners in their child(ren)’s education.

Parent Training

Parents and guardians are key agents of change in their child's life. Training opportunities provide education and resources for parents to be connected as partners in their child's education and social-emotional growth. The schedule of trainings for the 2021-22 school year is forthcoming.

Educational Surrogate Parent Program

An engaged adult is critical to protecting the educational rights of every child, but most especially for a child with a disability. However, some students do not have an adult to look after their educational interests. It is the Local Education Agency's responsibility to provide someone to act in this capacity for a student with special needs. 

The DCIU Educational Surrogate Program helps the student's LEA fulfill this obligation.

What does an educational surrogate parent do?

Like other "parents" under the IDEA, an educational surrogate parent has the right to make all the special education decisions that are usually made by the child's biological or adoptive parents. Educational surrogate parents can review educational records, consent to evaluations, re-evaluations, and placements, request and participate in IEP meetings, and challenge the recommendations by asking for mediation or requesting a hearing.

Requirements for Requesting a Surrogate Parent

The LEA can request a surrogate parent only after they have documented that:

Forms and More Information

  • No parent, as defined in 34 CFR §300.30, can be identified;
  • The LEA, after reasonable efforts, cannot locate a parent;
  • The child is a ward of the state under the laws of the State (Pennsylvania does not have a state law definition of “ward of state” so this provision does not apply in Pennsylvania);
  • 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))LEA representative must submit
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Surrogate Parent Guidelines for IDEA-Eligible or Thought-to-Be Eligible StudentsPDF (PDF)
  • Educational Surrogate Parent Request Form


Parent Resources

The Arc of Delaware County

Delaware County Right to Education Task Force 
The Right to Education Task Force (composed of parents, agencies, and district representatives) was established to assist in improving education for all school-age children with learning disabilities, physical handicaps, emotional difficulties, and hearing, vision, speech, language and hearing impairments. The Task Force makes recommendations to improve, strengthen, expand and monitor programs and services; speaks on behalf of special education students; and communicates their needs, problems and concerns to schools and other agencies providing special education programs.

Down Syndrome Interest Group of Delaware County
P. O. Box 226, Springfield, Pa 19064 | phone: 610-544-4025

The Delaware County Local Task Force on the Right to Education

Working together to ensure the delivery of Special Education Services to eligible students.

The primary purpose of the Local Task Force (LTF) on the Right to Education is to make recommendations that assist in improving, strengthening, expanding, and monitoring programs and services for school age children with special needs.

According to the PARC Consent Decree, the LTF must include parents, school personnel, The Arc, a representative from Office of Behavioral Health, Office of Intellectual Disabilities, and a liaison from a Delaware County School District.

This Task Force is For:

Family members, professionals, Delaware County School Districts, and community members.

All Local Task Force Meetings Include:

Dissemination of local resources, services, legislative updates, parent and professional training opportunities, and discussion on current issues impacting local special eduaction. 

Local Task Force meetings are FREE and held five times per school year. General meetings are often followed by presentations. Topics are selected by Local Task Force members. Suggestions for future topics are warmly welcomed and encouraged.

You may contact the Local Task Force to request placement on the next scheduled General Meeting Agenda.

Contact Information

Parent Co-chairs: Deb Duffy and LaTonia Lee

  • Support and join committees that interest you!
  • Come for up-to-date information and trainings.
  • Share your experiences and listen to others!


Meeting Participation

  • All meetings for the 2023-2024 school year are held via Zoom.

    Families from the following school districts and charter schools are invited to participate.

    • Chester Community Charter School
    • Chester Upland School District
    • Chichester School District
    • Garnet Valley School District
    • Haverford School District
    • Interboro School District
    • Marple Newtown School District
    • Penn Delco School District
    • Radnor School District
    • Ridley School District
    • Rose Tree Media School District
    • Springfield School District
    • Wallingford Swarthmore School District
    • William Penn School District


23-24 Meeting Schedule

  • September 28, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

    • Meeting Topic: Strategies to Support Executive Functioning Skills

    November 9, 2023 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    • Meeting Topic: Leisure/Recreational Activities in Delaware County for Students with Special Needs

    January 25, 2024 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    • Meeting Topic: Planning for Making a Difference Awards

    April 9, 2024 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

    • Meeting Topic: Safety in the Community

    May 23, 2024 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

    • Meeting Topic: Planning for 2024-2025 School Year

Duties of the Task Force

    1. Assist families and professionals of school-aged students with special education needs by providing educational and networking opportunities so they are better able to make informed decisions to meet the needs of their student(s)
    2. Help disseminate local, regional, state, school, and community-based special education services, workshops, and informational or recreational opportunities for the community. 
    3. Foster collaboration amongst public and private agencies which provide special education services.
    4. Identify local needs and problems and forward them to the State Task Force.
    5. Assess programs and services for school-aged children with special needs, making recommendations for their improvement, expansion, or discontinuation.
    6. Recommend solutions for identified areas of concern and develop an action plan to affect positive change.
    7. Review recommendations of the State Task Force and advise the Administration of any recommendation which should be adopted/implemented within Delaware County.
    8. Assist the Administration in carrying out the rules and regulations growing out of the PARC Consent Agreement.
    9. Review Intermediate Unit and District Special Education Plans and make recommendations which will help assure that they meet the needs of school-aged children with special needs.

Parent Training Workshop

DCIU Presents Free Parent Trainings

The Delaware County Intermediate Unit offers free workshops to help parents better navigate the often-challenging roadmap of educating their children with disabilities or learning challenges.
The content of these workshops is geared toward parents.
There will be no Act 48 or continuing education credit offered if a professional chooses to attend this workshop.

Upcoming Parent Trainings
Supporting Early Literacy at Home | Register Now

April 8, 2024, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Zoom

Taking part in literacy activities at home can develop your child's reading ability, comprehension, and language skills. This workshop will provide parents with fun and practical ideas to engage their child in early literacy activities such as rhyming, joint storytelling, and multisensory play. The targeted audience for this session is parents of 4-8 year old children.