After the case coordinator determines that a student meets all required eligibility criteria, attention is turned to identifying an appropriate SESPP volunteer. The case coordinator will first investigate whether there is already an involved adult who may be interested in making special education decisions for the child. Such individuals may include:
- Biological Parents/Guardians who may retain special education decision-making. No appointment by the SESPP is necessary.
- A Visiting Resource, who has already fulfilled DCF requirements to be considered an active part of the student's life, may be appointed as SESPP volunteer after completing the written application and CORI.
- Other involved adults, who are not already approved as Visiting Resources through DCF, are required to fulfill all SESPP requirements before being appointed. Such individuals may include, but are not limited to, prior service providers with no current conflict of interest, previous foster parents, relatives, or other community members.
If no such adult can be identified, the case coordinator will review all available SESPP volunteers listed in the program database. We will try to match volunteers with a student based on criteria such as geographic location and the volunteer's stated interest in certain areas of disability, student age group, and other individual preferences. The case coordinator will contact volunteers, give details about the particular student's situation, and the volunteer can choose whether or not to accept the match.
Every student who is eligible for an SESP is assigned to one, there are no waiting lists. Referrals may be prioritized depending on the circumstances of the student. While the amount of time it takes to assign an SESP to a student can vary, most referrals are assigned within 14 days of eligibility determination (93% in FY21).