Department of Special Education Family Support Center
Family Support staff are committed to providing information to parents and families to work as equal partners with the Local Education Agency. Specifically, each Family Support Center seeks to:
- Increase parental involvement in the early intervention and special education decision-making process;
- Increase collaborative relationships through information and training;
- Assist families in resolving concerns and making informed decisions regarding their child’s education; and
- Provide information about disabilities and school system and community resources.
The purpose of Family Support is:
- To provide information about disabilities and related services
- To increase awareness of community services
- To assist families in resolving educational concerns
- To connect families with resources they may need to make informed decisions regarding their child’s education
- To strengthen collaborative relationships with families, schools, and community partners
Services provided include:
- Assistance with understanding the IEP process
- Access to disability-specific workshops, fairs, and conferences
- Assistance with preparing for your child’s annual review
- Assistance with understanding how to resolve disagreements
- Referrals to community resources
Parent Coordinator, Family Support Liaison
Maryland Procedural Safeguards – Parental Rights
The procedural safeguards notice includes a full explanation of parental rights in an easily understandable manner and in the parent’s native language. The procedural safeguards notice applies to children and families receiving services through an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) and to children and youth with disabilities receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services (DSE/EIS) has made available the 20 language translations for Maryland’s Parental Rights Procedural Safeguards Notice, effective January 2021.
Amharic | Arabic | Bengali | Burmese | Chinese | French | Gujarati | Haitian Creole | Hebrew | Hindi | Korean | Nepali | Polish | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish | Tagalog | Turkish | Urdu | Vietnamese
Mediation is a process that may be used to resolve disagreements between the parents of a child with a disability and the public agency responsible for the education of the child. If during an IEP team meeting the parent disagrees with the child’s IEP or the special education services provided to the child, the IEP team shall provide the parent, in plain language:
- An oral and written explanation of the parent’s right to request mediation;
- Contact information, including telephone number, that parents may use to receive more information about the mediation process; and
- Information regarding pro bono representation and other free or low-cost legal and related services available in the area.
- A request for mediation is made to the public agency responsible for the early intervention or education of the child and the OAH. Instructions to assist parents with filing the Request for Mediation Form are available from the public agency and on the MSDE website at www.marylandpublicschools.org.
- For further assistance, contact the Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Special Education Office, 410-758-2403 x. 131 or the MSDE, Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services, 410-767-7770.
State Due Process
A due process complaint is a formal complaint regarding the identification, evaluation, educational
placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education for a student with a disability or
suspected of having a disability, which may result in a due process hearing.
A parent or public agency may file a due process complaint.
It is preferred that you file your due process complaint using the Request for Mediation and Due Process
Complaint form, however, any written request that includes all the required information shall initiate the
due process complaint process. You may obtain a form by calling or writing to the public agency
responsible for the student’s education; the Office of Administrative Hearings (410-229-4294); or the
Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services
A due process complaint must be filed within two (2) years of the date you knew, or should have known,
about the alleged action that is the reason for the complaint.
Before having the opportunity for a due process hearing there is a 30-day resolution period. This time
period allows you and the public agency time to try to resolve the dispute. Either you or the public agency may agree to attempt to resolve the dispute using mediation, or the public agency must schedule a resolution meeting unless both parties agree to waive the meeting.
QACPS – Family Support Contacts
Ms. Jennifer Christian
Ms. Joeleen Smith
Supervisor of Special Education
The MSDE Family Support Section of the Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch, responds to parent inquiries, assists parents with navigating with Maryland’s early intervention and special education systems, and provides parents with school system resources.
Mr. Ken Hudock
Section Chief, Family Support Services
Maryland State Department of Education
Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services
410-767-0255 or email [email protected]