Sunday, November 11, 2007

Advocate Contact Information

  1. File a written complaint with the FLDOE about your situation in regards to your child being restrained or put in seclusion. This may not do much but at least it will be documented and on file. This will create a paper trail that you may need in the future. Click on this link to get the form. State Complaint Request Form
  2. File a complete with your Department of Children and Families Services (DCF) if your child has been injured physically or mentally. The Welfare of Children Act (HB 7173) amended the definition of "other person responsible for the child's welfare" to include school personnel. Parents can now report suspected abuse by school personnel to DCF. Florida Child Abuse Hot Line 1-800-962-2873

  3. File a complaint with your local police department if your child has been injured physically or mentally.

  4. Florida's Positive Behavior Support Project This is free program to all Florida schools but they have to be invited in by the school district. Make this request to your ESE Director and your school board. Make this request by phone or in person but always put it in writing also.

  5. Educate and work with your local and state legislatures about restraint and seclusion in the public school system on children with disabilities. Identify problems and present solutions to help solve the current problems our children are facing. Find your Legislators in the link below by ZIP+4 Code (the 4 extra number can be found on most of your incoming mail next to your zip code)

  6. Work with other parent advocates creating and submitting new bills to your local legislatures. Example of bill subjects: Burden of proof put back on the schools districts, Behavior committee to oversee policies/rules are being followed, State Data system set up by school districts to track restraint, seclusion, suspensions, baker acts and arrests of children with disabilities.

  7. Work with other parent advocates changing current laws that are outdated and need to be revised.

  8. Call and order 20 - 30 free booklets "Making Your Case" 1-877-348-0505 (toll free) and pass them out to other parent advocates. This is a beginners guide to teach advocates how to work with legislators.

  9. Speak at school board meetings about what restraint and seclusion has done to your child, family and other families. Educate school board members about the dangers and trauma of restraint and seclusion. Restraint & Seclusion is NOT a positive behavior treatment, it's a FAILURE to treatment.

  10. Send a "No Restraint" letter to the school principal and ESE Director. Change the letter to fit your situation. A sample letter can be found here: 

  11. Take pictures of any visible injuries your child comes home with. And make sure you document everything.

  12. Take your child to his/her Pediatrician or the Emergency room for a complete physical examination if needed.

  13. Contact your local media and ask them if they will do a story to educated the public.

  14. Restraint and Seclusion - Join the Yahoo group to find information and support.

  15. Pass this information on to other parents that may need help.

  16. Educate yourself regarding special education law. Wrightslaw -   CHALLENGING YOUR CHILDS PROGRAM DUE PROCESS -         

Other Contact Numbers and Local Advocacy Councils

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Civil Rights

U.S.Office of Civil Rights Washington office