(NEWS CENTER) -- There are Maine students who really need an additional person to act on their behalf as they navigate academia.

Earlier this week, the Maine Department of Education reminded the public that some students with disabilities require "surrogate parents." Becoming a certified surrogate is a way to help certain students who do not have available parents and/or guardians (or are in custody of the state) but still need someone who is designated to help represent them during periods of assessment.

Webinar link about Surrogate Parents process

Students with declared physical and/or learning disabilities go through Individual Educational Programming (IEP) sessions. The goal of these assessments is to accurately gauge the progress of a specific pupil and figure out how to craft an action plan that can be used by that scholar and his or her teacher(s).

Being a surrogate parent to children from many different backgrounds is sometimes challenging but always rewarding. These children, and too many more like them, need to know that someone cares about them and is watching over their educational needs and progress.” - Peter Quimby, Education Surrogate from Thorndike

Apply to be a Surrogate Parent Volunteer

Maine DOE's goal through this program is to "ensure the child is provided with equal educational opportunities." Those interested in joining the program should contact Stacia Fowler from Special Services.