Children's Aid Society of Oxford County Profile on Adoption Assistance
Updated July 2008
Agency Contact Person
Linda McKnight / Jackie Friesen
92 Light Street
Woodstock, ON N4S 6H1
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ontario’s Adoption Resources on the Web:
Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Federal and Ontario Provincial Nonrefundable Tax Credits
The Adoption Council of Ontario
Children’s Aid Society of Oxford County web information:
1. CAS of Oxford County's definition of special needs is as follows:
There is no specific definition, per se. The agency uses broad terms to consider children’s needs for post-adoption services. Characteristics might include:
- Sibling placements
- Emotional needs requiring therapy
- Medical needs
- Special education needs
- Diagnoses including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), etc.
2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at CAS of Oxford County is:
If the family/child qualifies, the current per diem maximum rate is $18.00/day.
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 CAS of Oxford County offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:
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 at CAS of Oxford County?
Adoption subsidies can include per diem rates, counselling/therapy for the child and/or family, extended medical coverage if the family needs it (i.e., prescriptions, orthodontic, etc).
5. What medical or dental services are available at CAS of Oxford County?
6. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?
7. Do relatives adopting under the program receive the same benefits as non-relatives?
8. Do children adopted from private agencies receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?
No. Adoption subsidies are paid for children who are Crown Wards.
9. When do subsidy payments begin?
Payments can start at the date of placement. Or, assistance can be accessed later, even several years after the child’s adoption finalization.
10. Will CAS of Oxford County consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?
Yes, but this does not exclude the child/family from receiving special needs benefits which do not include per diem payments.
11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them at CAS of Oxford County?
Yes and No. These discussions occur based on the family’s income needs and the child’s special needs.
12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?
There is no firm policy regarding eligibility or the amount of assistance. There is flexibility to allow assistance for a child’s special needs.
13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility at CAS of Oxford County? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?
The individuals involved include the adoption worker, supervisor, director of services, and the executive director.
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?
15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated at CAS of Oxford County?
Assistance agreements are negotiated by the adoption worker, supervisor, director of services and the executive director.
16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used at CAS of Oxford County?
There is an annual review, which is either done face-to-face or via telephone contact.
17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?
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 at CAS of Oxford County?
19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at CAS of Oxford County?
The family will address their concern with the following individuals in the hierarchy: worker, manager, director of service, and then the executive director.
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 family will request assistance, typically through their adoption worker. A financial statement is then submitted, and the child/family’s situation is considered.
System Operation and Program Funding
21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at CAS of Oxford County?
The program is funded by the government. Payments are made directly from the agency to the individual family.
22. Below are other programs that may delineate CAS of Oxford County's adoption assistance program from others in Ontario and around the country.