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Kawartha-Haliburton Children's Aid Society Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated May 2008

Agency Contact Person

Wendy Gordon
Regional Adoption Program Manager
1100 Chemong Rd
Peterborough, ON K9H 7S2
Phone: 705-743-9751
Fax: 705-745-6641
E-mail: Wendy.Gordon@khcas.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.


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

The Adoption Council of Ontario
www.adoptontario.ca

Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society web information:
http://www.khcas.on.ca/adoption.html


1. Kawartha-Haliburton CAS’s legal definition of special needs is as follows:

There is no official or legal definition of special needs. However, each child is looked upon as an individual and thus the child’s needs are viewed as being specific to that child and the family’s ability to meet those needs.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate in Kawartha-Haliburton CAS is:

There is not a standard rate. Any financial assistance is based on the needs of the child and the family’s ability to meet those needs.

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

Any kind of financial assistance cannot be more then it would be to continue to raise a child in foster care.

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 Kawartha-Haliburton CAS?

The adoption worker and the family, determine what will be the most appropriate support the family that may be financial or support services, like counseling.

5. What medical or dental services are available in Kawartha-Haliburton CAS?

If the child has medical or dental needs that are extraordinary that Society would expect that family is using their own benefit plan to cover the costs of these things. If the family does not have benefits then this would have been indicated in the original agreement that the family could request assistance for medical and dental.

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

When a child turns 18 the assistance ends, except that the child may now apply for their non-identifying information.

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

The adoption policies and procedures do not differentiate between kin and non-kin placements.

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

No


Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

This depends on what the agreement is. It could be at the beginning of the probation period or it could be at finalization.

10. Will Kawartha-Haliburton 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 Kawartha-Haliburton CAS?

Yes

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

The individual agencies have their own standards for assistance and each executive director signs off on any permanency agreements.

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

Executive Director makes the decision with input from the Adoption Manager and the Adoption Worker.

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?

No

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

The agreement is negotiated between the family and the adoption worker. It then comes to the adoption manager and is signed off by the executive director.

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

Permanency agreements must be reviewed annually and this is done by the adoption worker. It may be done by interview or over the telephone and a new agreement is signed.

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

Yes – this would occur at the annual review.

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 Kawartha-Haliburton CAS?

With the new legislation, anyone who adopted after November 30, 2006 is eligible to come back to request assistance even if they did not complete a permanency agreement.

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

A family would start with speaking with their worker, it then goes to the adoption manager, to the executive director, the internal complaints panel and finally to the CFSRB.

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.

Please see question #18.


System Operation And Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Kawartha-Haliburton CAS?

The CAS is funded by the government of Ontario and each year when a budget is created included in it is funds for adoption assistance.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate Kawartha-Haliburton CAS's adoption assistance program from others around the province or country.

Kawartha-Haliburton is a part of a regional adoption program working with cooperatively with Hastings and Northumberland Children’s Aid Societies.

 

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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