Volunteer to be an OSSE Educational Surrogate Parent (ESP)
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Government
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Division of K-12 Systems and Supports seeks volunteers to serve as ESPs for students with disabilities. A volunteer ESP is appointed to act as the special education decision-maker for a child who does not have an adult to fill that role. ESPs participate in individualized education program (IEP) meetings, receive notice of proposed school actions, monitor academic progress, and otherwise advocate to ensure that the child’s special education needs are being met. As an ESP, you may be appointed to work with students living in group homes, foster care placements, or homeless youth.
OSSE trains all ESP volunteers on the special education process and their responsibilities as an ESP. Previous experience with special education is not required and any adult who is willing to learn about the individual needs of a student with a disability is welcome to apply to volunteer. The required time commitment is driven by student needs and varies by appointment, averaging four to six hours per month.
Volunteers are matched with students and appointed on an as-needed basis after completing OSSE training; DC Public Schools (DCPS) volunteer clearance, and the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) Child Protection Register (CPR) check.
To request more information on volunteering, ask questions, or register to attend an OSSE ESP training, please provide your information using the following interest form. A member of our staff will contact you directly.
For more information or questions, please email the Surrogate.Parent@dc.gov.
About Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), DC Government
810 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, US
The mission of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is to remove barriers and create pathways for District residents to receive a great education and prepare them for success in college, careers, and life.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) plays many roles in the lives of children, teens, and adults seeking an education in the District of Columbia. The agency sets statewide policies, provides resources and support, and exercises accountability for all public education in DC. OSSE also ensures that children and families receive year round access to well balanced meals by providing federal reimbursements, training and nutrition education to program participants. It also provides transportation to school for District children with special needs. OSSE administers programs that fund adult literacy education and college tuition programs that cover up to $10,000 a year toward paying the college tuition for any qualified applicant living in the District. There are countless programs, recently developed initiatives, and grants received as a result of the work done by OSSE. Please visit the programs area of this website to learn more about all the things OSSE is doing to make sure education in Washington, DC is a region where education comes first.