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Frontenac Children's Aid Society Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated April 2008

Agency Contact Person

Kevin Norell, Adoption Manager
Frontenac Children’s Aid Society
362 Montreal Street
Kingston, ON K7K 3H5
Phone: 613-542-7351
Fax: 613-542-4428
E-mail: Kevin.Norell@frontcas.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.


Ontario’s Adoption Resources on the Web:

Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/mcys/english/
programs/child/adoption/index.asp

Federal and Ontario Provincial Nonrefundable Tax Credits
http://www.cga-ontario.org/contentfiles/
publications_promotions/ptp/federal.aspx

Frontenac Children’s Aid Society web information:

http://www.casfrontenac.ca/adoption/


1. Frontenac CAS’s legal definition of special needs is as follows:

Provincial Regulations were set out in the 1980s and are very general.

  1. The child’s age makes placement in a non-subsidized home improbable;
  2. The child’s relationship with siblings is such that he/she should not be separated from them;
  3. Racial or ethnic factors make location of an adoption home difficult;
  4. Any combination of these.

Note: Any of the above conditions or combination thereof must be assessed by a certified professional in the appropriate medical/mental health or social work field.

(This Children’s Aid Society is currently drafting a new special needs policy.)

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

There is no standard rate.

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 Frontenac CAS offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:

Needs are considered on an individual basis and the criteria (as mentioned above) is currently being drafted in a policy format.

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 Frontenac CAS?

These are determined by the individual CASs. All post adoption services, with the exception of emotional support, are built into subsidy agreements. The Agency does offer a post adoption support group, but this has not been running in the past few years due to lack of interest on the part of participants.

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

As discussed in question 4, this can be built into a subsidy agreement when based on individual need and considered outside of what a child would usually require.

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

Adoption assistance terminates at the age of 18.

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

The need for subsidies can be addressed if the child is a Crown Ward prior to adoption, rather than a consent adoption with a relative.

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

No, subsidies are only available to children placed through public agencies.


Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

Subsidies are applied for and approved prior to placement. Payments begin upon finalization of the adoption.

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

Yes.

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

Subsidies are not discussed with all families.

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

Rates are established locally and the decision to enter into a subsidy is made by the senior manager with input from the adoption worker and manager.

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

The worker advises their manager of the potential need for financial support and their opinion as to whether this remains the best placement for the child. Together the worker and manager consider the subsidy application and possible alternatives are reviewed for the worker’s action.

The worker assists the adoptive applicants with exploring provincial or other programs including employee benefit plans of the applicants which can provide financial or other resources to enable the applicants to meet the child’s needs without agency financial support.

If there are no other areas of support available, the worker and applicants prepare a financial statement, supported with employment receipts and expense claims to demonstrate the need for financial subsidy. A subsidy request, whether for current special care needs or future or anticipated needs, is submitted to the manager for review and support. If the manager supports the request, he forwards the information to the Director of Services, who confirms the request or suggests alternatives to the manager. An adoption subsidy agreement is developed by the worker and manager and submitted to the Director of Services to the Executive Director for final approval.

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?

The process usually involves searching for a family initially and then reviewing whether a subsidy is required.

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

The worker and adoptive applicants prepare a financial statement to determine need. An adoption subsidy agreement is developed by the worker and manager and submitted to the Director of Services to the Executive Director for final approval.

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

There is an annual review at the local level.

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

Yes, subsidies are reviewed annually.

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 Frontenac CAS?

Yes.

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

Appeals are heard by the senior management of CAS.

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.

There are no provisions for post adoption subsidy.


System Operation and Program Funding

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

Public adoption in the province of Ontario is regulated by the province and administered locally by independent Children Aid Societies who report to local regional offices of the Ministry of Community, Family, and Children’s Services for approval of the adoption finalization.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate Frontenac 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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