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Bruce Children's Aid Society Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated November 2003

Agency Contact Person

Summer Kueneman
PO Box 279
5 McGivern St. West
Walkerton, ON N0G 2V0
P: 519-881-7773
F: 519-881-0350
E: summer.kueneman@cas.gov.on.ca

NACAC Representative (Parent/Volunteer)

Currently, there is no Ontario Representative. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer to help families learn more about adoption assistance, please call Jeanette Wiedemeier Bower at NACAC, 651-644-3036 or 800-470-6665.


Adoption assistance may be available for children with special needs. Often, assistance is provided to encourage the adoption of special needs children and remove the financial disincentives to adoption for the families. If you have questions, please call the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) at 651-644-3036 or our subsidy help line at 800-470-6665, or e-mail us at adoption.assistance@nacac.org.


1. Bruce CAS's definition of special needs is as follows:

Special needs could include a child with disabilities or emotional needs, or a family´s situation that requires assistance meeting a child´s educational needs.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate in Bruce CAS is:

There is no standard rate. It is negotiated individually.

3. Specialized rates, if available, are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child. If Bruce CAS offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:

No.

4. In addition to monthly payments, what sort of post-adoption services (respite, counseling, residential treatment, parent training, etc.) are provided? When available, are these services formally specified in the adoption assistance agreement in Bruce CAS?

Our Agency offers adoption disclosure services when an adult who was adopted returns to the agency to obtain information regarding his/her birth family or desires reunification services. It is done by the adoption worker when time permits. It is separate from the subsidy.

5. What medical or dental services are available in Bruce CAS?

None.

6. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?

It is only available to children over 18 if it is negotiated in the initial agreement with the Agency.

7. Do relatives adopting under the program receive the same benefits as non-relatives?

Yes, but it would have to be negotiated with the Agency.

8. Do children adopted from private agencies in Bruce CAS receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?

No.

 

Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

The assistance may begin on the date that the child is placed on probation or the adoption finalization date. It is negotiated.

10. Will Bruce CAS consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

A family´s finances are critical to the subsidy amount. The amount is evaluated on a per case basis.

11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them in Bruce CAS?

Families are notified locally regarding post adoption assistance.

12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?

The assistance rates are set case by case. The rates are negotiated between the prospective adoptive family, the executive director, and the financial department. The adoption worker and the supervisor may or may not be part of this process.

13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility in Bruce CAS? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?

Preliminary meetings are held with the adoptive family, Executive Director, supervisor, and the adoption worker. Decisions are based upon the determination of the child´s present and long term care needs, the family´s financial situation, and a discussion of any required special services. The Executive Director makes the final decision.

14. Once a child is determined eligible for assistance, is there any requirement to look for an adoptive family who will accept a placement without assistance?

Usually, the child is placed while the negotiation of the assistance is going on. If this has not happened, finding an adoptive family who does not need assistance is a consideration, but is not a determining factor.

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated in Bruce CAS?

Rates are set on a case by case basis. The negotiation meeting includes the adoptive family, the Executive Director, and the financial department. The adoption worker and the supervisor may or may not be part of this process.

16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used in Bruce CAS?

There is no formal requirement for reviewing the agreement.

17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?

An adoption assistance agreement can be modified. The adoptive family should contact the Executive director to make such a request. The modification can only be made by the Executive Director

18. A deferred or nil agreement is one in which the initial monthly assistance payment is $0. If a child's needs are listed as high risk and symptoms later manifest, the payment is renegotiated. Are deferred agreements offered in Bruce CAS?

This has never been done at this Agency, but there is a possibility that it could happen. The adoptive family would need to negotiate this with the Agency.

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process in Bruce CAS?

Parents should send a written appeal to the Board of Directors.

20. Families may request assistance after the finalization of an adoption under certain circumstances. Below is the process by which families access adoption benefits after finalization.

The adoptive family should contact the agency and negotiate a post-finalization request.

 

System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Bruce CAS?

We are locally funded and administered.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate Bruce CAS's adoption assistance program from others around the country.

None.


North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848
e-mail: info@nacac.org
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