Responsible relative liability laws exist to shift some of the cost of care of residentially placed handicapped children from the state to the children's parents. Because residential placement of handicapped children, particularly developmentally disabled children, would not be undertaken but for the need to teach these children life skills, the Education for the Handicapped Act would dictate that these placements be free of cost to parents. Recently, the courts have resolved the tension between the preexisting state-responsible relative laws and the Education for the Handicapped Act. Ruling in favor of the parents, they have invalidated the responsible relative charges. This article describes the conflict, its resolution in the recent case Parks v. Pavkovic, and some of the implications of that decision. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Mark C. Weber, The End of Responsible Relative Liability, 54 Exceptional Children 171 (1987).