Saskatchewan Profile on Adoption Assistance
Updated February 2008
Provincial Contact Person
Director, Post Care Services
Ministry of Social Services
12th Floor, 1920 Broad Street
Regina, SK S4P 3V6
NACAC Representative (Parent/Volunteer)
Adoption Support Centre of SK, Inc.
305 – 506 25th Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 4A7
Phone: 306-665-7272 / 866-869-2727
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.
Saskatchewan’s Adoption Resources on the Web:
Saskatchewan’s Adoption Assistance:
1. Saskatchewan's legal definition of special needs is as follows:
(1) Where a person proposes to obtain an order of adoption with respect to a person, who, at the time of the proposed adoption, is a Crown ward, the minister may provide assistance with respect to the Crown ward to the person who proposes to obtain the order of adoption if:
- the Crown ward has a special need requiring special services as a result of:
- being a member of a family group to be placed for adoption jointly;
- having siblings previously placed for adoption with the person who proposes to adopt the Crown ward;
- having a diagnosed physical, mental, or emotional disturbance or disability; or
- having a recognized high risk of physical, mental, or emotional disturbance or disability; or
- because of circumstances pertaining to the Crown ward, the provision of assistance is likely to result in a placement of the child for adoption.
(2) The minister may provide assistance to an adoptive parent with respect to an adopted child who is a former Crown ward if the adopted child has a special need requiring special services as a result of having:
- having a diagnosed physical, mental, or emotional disturbance or disability; or
- having a recognized high risk of physical, mental, or emotional disturbance or disability (14 Mar 2003 cA-5.2 REG 1, Section 50).
2. Please list the standard monthly adoption assistance maintenance rate in Saskatchewan:
The rate is 90 percent of the current foster care rate.
Maintenance Rate - North
Maintenance Rate - South
(These rates are current as of April 1, 2003)
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 Saskatchewan offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:
There are no provisions in our Assisted Adoption program to provide monthly maintenance payments which are higher than 90 percent of the current foster care rate.
There is a section in the agreement that allows for payments for special needs. Examples of special needs which may qualify for compensation include: specialized counselling, respite, travel expenses for an approved trip related to specialized services for the child, dental, orthodontic and medical expenses not covered by other plans.
4. In addition to monthly payments, what sort of post-adoption services (respite, counselling, residential treatment, parent training, etc.) are provided? When available, are these services formally specified in the adoption assistance agreement in Saskatchewan?
Payments for services related to the special needs of a child that are not available free of charge through existing community services, include payments for:
- medical expenses;
- orthodontic and corrective dental treatment;
- home renovations or equipment to accommodate a disability;
- therapy, including occupational, speech, and hearing therapy;
- remedial education;
- rehabilitation training;
- day care for remedial purposes; and
- transportation and accommodation costs
(14 Mar 2003 cA-5.2 REG 1, Section 49)
Upon request, case work support is also provided.
In addition, Saskatchewan has indicated that the following list includes services where payment was provided in the last reporting year:
- Parent Aide/Family Aide
- Parent Education/Training
- Day Care
- Medical Supplies
- Dental Supplies/Services, including orthodontal
- Special Diet
- Travel Expenses, including mileage, meals and accommodations
- Life Skills
- Contractual Services
- Special Tutoring
- Camp Fees
5. What medical or dental services are available in Saskatchewan?
The Assisted Adoption Program allows for an assessment of need regarding medical, dental, and orthodontic services. It must be determined that all possible resources have been considered and utilized.
6. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?
All benefits outlined in questions 2 to 5 are also available to adopted adults designated to the program from 18 to 21 years of age. There circumstances for eligibility are the same for children aged 0 to 21 years.
7. Do relatives adopting under the program receive the same benefits as non-relatives?
All adoptive applicants (relatives and non-relatives) who apply to adopt in the domestic adoption program operated by the Ministry may be involved in the Assisted Adoption program if the child is designated to the program. All families whose child is designated would be eligible to receive benefits depending on the circumstances of the child and the existing resources available.
8. Do children adopted from private agencies in Saskatchewan receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?
9. When do subsidy payments begin?
Monthly maintenance payments commence the date the child is placed for adoption. (Note: Placement date is prior to the finalization date where the Order of Adoption is granted.) Other types of approved payments through our Special Services section are eligible to be processed at any time following the placement of a child for adoption. The date of eligibility for all payments is the placement date.
10. Will Saskatchewan consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?
There is no income scale applied. However, there is a discussion of the child’s needs and the adoptive parents’ financial circumstances, and decisions are made on an individualized basis.
11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them in Saskatchewan?
The Assisted Adoption Program is discussed at the time of intake when adoptive applicants are considering their options regarding adoption. There is no legislative provision addressing routine notification. At the present time, we do not have an informational brochure on our program. We have provided some basic information on our Ministry website regarding Assisted Adoption.
12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?
The provincial government establishes foster and adoption assistance rates. These rates apply in all areas of the province.
13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility in Saskatchewan? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?
The Executive Director of Child and Family Services Division located at our Central Office must approve/disapprove a submittance to “Designate” the child to our program based on criteria outlined in the Adoption Regulations 2003. Once this approval has been granted, the regional offices determine and fund the services provided. The regional management also approves any alternations/ adjustments to the funding arrangement.
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?
There is no requirement to look for an adoptive family who will accept a placement without assistance. The selection process of matching a child with an adoptive family is always done in the best interests of the child.
15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated in Saskatchewan?
Once approval has been granted based on eligibility, the regional adoption program staff (caseworker) negotiates the agreement with the adoptive parents. There is no income/means test applied, however, there is a discussion of the child’s needs and the adoptive parents’ financial circumstances and their motivation and reasons regarding the adoption plan.
16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used in Saskatchewan?
There is a requirement of an Annual Review that includes a home visit. Also, there can be a review of circumstances upon request by the adoptive parents or by the Ministry, or within 60 days of a change in circumstances.
17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?
All adoption assistance agreements may be modified/re-negotiated upon request of the Ministry and/or the adoptive family according to legislation and policy.
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 Saskatchewan?
Yes, there is flexibility in the agreement.
19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process in Saskatchewan?
All clients are advised of their right to appeal any decision. According to the Ministry brochure “Your Right to Appeal” families can take the following steps to try to have conflicts settled:
- Discuss the problem with your Social Worker;
- Contact your Worker’s Supervisor;
- Appeal to Area Service Manager or the Regional Director;
- Contact the Minister of Social Services;
- Contact the Children’s Advocate.
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.
Yes, there is a provision for designation to the program after the Order of Adoption is granted. This legislative provision that allows flexibility after finalization has recently come into effect April 1, 2003. The eligibility for this group of adopted children is the same as the pre-finalization eligibility criteria as set out in the Adoption Regulations 2003. It is not expected that monthly maintenance payments will be required but, rather, needs linked to specialized services not readily available through existing funding sources.
System Operation and Program Funding
21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in Saskatchewan?
The Domestic Adoption Program and Assisted Adoption Program are the responsibility of the Ministry and these programs are administered by the Ministry through regional offices throughout the province. The regional offices manage and fund the services provided. The regional management also approves any alternations/adjustments to the funding arrangement.
22. Below are other programs that may differentiate Saskatchewan's adoption assistance program from others around the country.
Saskatchewan is currently in the process of developing a kinship care initiative. This initiative will support extended family members or others who have a significant relationship to a child. Caregivers assume guardianship for children who cannot remain with their birth parents for safety reasons.