The Educational Surrogate Parent Program was established to provide educational surrogate parents to children with disabilities whenever the natural parents or guardian of a child with a disability cannot be identified or located, or when the child is in the custody of the state. Educational surrogate parents have all the rights of natural parents for special education matters, e.g. permission for evaluation and placement, to release information and to request an educational hearing. The primary goal of the educational surrogate parent program is to ensure that all children with disabilities are provided with equal educational opportunities. Educational surrogates need to be caring individuals able to work with Maine Special Education Regulations and attend pupil evaluation team meetings in the child's local school or other education settings (such as a regional day treatment program or special purpose private school) determined necessary by the IEP team.