In order for a student to be eligible for an SESPP volunteer, a student must be:
- Between the ages of 3 and 18 (special considerations are given to students between the ages of 18 and 22)
- Receiving special education services, or referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services
- One of the following conditions applies:
- the student's parents are considered to be unknown because no identification can be made from the student's records
- the student's parents are unavailable because they cannot be located after a reasonable effort has been made on the part of the agency responsible for the student
- the student is in the custody of a state agency and the parents do not retain special education decision-making rights
- the student is classified as an Unaccompanied Homeless Youth*
Students eligible for an SESPP volunteer may reside in a variety of living situations including residential schools, group homes, hospitals or pediatric nursing homes, state institutions, diagnostic placements, shelters and foster homes. Under both federal and state special education regulations, foster parents have the authority to act as special education decision-makers without an appointment by the SESPP.
*Unaccompanied Homeless Youth: A youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, and who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or has a primary nighttime residence in a supervised, publicly or privately, operated shelter for temporary accommodations (including welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing for the mentally ill), an institution providing temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized, or a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.