Consent for initial Evaluation - Biological parent vs. Foster Parent - who has the right to give consent?
If the biological parent has retained his/her parental rights with respect to educational decision-making, then that parent has the right to give consent. If not, or if the whereabouts of the biological parent is unknown despite reasonable efforts to locate that parent, the foster parent is authorized to give consent (the definition of “Parent” includes a foster parent. See MUSER II.26.B).
If a student comes from out-of-state, and you need to evaluate, do you still need consent?
Yes. Please see MUSER Section IX.3.B.(5)(a)(ii)(I).
Could you explain more about what consent override is and when it could be applied?
When a parent refuses to provide consent for an initial evaluation or a reevaluation, or fails to respond to a request for such consent, the SAU may, but is not required to, request a due process hearing in order to obtain a ruling that it may proceed with the evaluation. See MUSER V.1.A(4)(b)(i) and V.1.B(3)(a)(ii).
Do we need written consent to conduct screenings (assessments - not for the purpose of special education identification)?
No. Please see MUSER V.I.A(5)
Should we get parental consent for screening in case results indicate need for further evaluation? Wouldn't this allow us to use that information as part of a full referral?
Consent is not required for screenings, and the results of the screening would be available to an IEP Team making an eligibility determination. If the results of a screening lead to a referral for special education, a WN would be required in addition to a written consent for subsequent evaluations.
Do you need written consent to invite outside agencies (e.g., CDS, Vocational Rehabilitation, Sweetser Case Management) to an IEP team meeting if they already are involved with the child?
Where post-secondary transition is expected to be discussed at an IEP Team meeting, the SAU must invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services, but only after the SAU obtains the parent or adult student’s consent using the required DOE form (http://maine.gov/doe/specialed/forms/consent-outsideagencies05122014.pdf). See MUSER VI.2.C(3)(e). Consent must be obtained for each meeting where an agency representative is invited. In all other contexts, the SAU does not need consent to invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child. See MUSER VI.2.B(8).
Is the consent for an outside agency written consent?
Yes. Wherever state or federal regulations require consent, it is a written consent. See MUSER II.6 for a definition of “Consent”.
Does a SAU need written consent when a parent brings a member of an outside agency to the meeting?
No, parents and/or SAUs have a right to bring other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding their child. Determination of knowledge and special expertise is made by the parent and/or SAU who brought the individual. See MUSER VI.2.B(8). When the SAU invites such individual to a meeting, that person must be identified in the AWN.
May a SAU have a parent sign the WN providing consent to the initial provision of early intervention services or special education services before the WN has been filled out?
No. In order for parents to give informed consent for a SAU’s initial proposal to provide early intervention services to a child age birth to 2 years of age or to provide a FAPE to a child age 3 through 20 years of age, the parents must receive from a SAU the details of that proposal prior to their decision whether or not to give consent for said services. Thus, for a parent to sign a blank WN form denies them the opportunity to consider the WN information and make an informed consent.
What if the parent allows the child to be tested, goes to the meeting but then goes no further (no consent for placement, counseling, etc.)?
The parent has the right to refuse to consent to the provision of services, and the SAU may not use due process procedures in an attempt to override the parents’ wishes. The SAU is not required to provide FAPE to children whose parents refuse consent for services. See MUSER V.I.A.(4)(b)(ii)
May parents revoke consent for special services or special education services at any time subsequent to the offer of initial services?
Yes. Please refer to MUSER § V.I.A.(4)(b)(iii)(I – IV).