Simcoe Profile on Adoption Assistance
Updated January 2008
Agency Contact Person
60 Bell Farm Rd, Unit #7
Barrie, Ontario L4M 5G6
Phone: 705-726-6587 x2236
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 email@example.com.
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 Simcoe County web information:
1. Simcoe CAS’s definition of special needs is as follows:
There is no standard definition.
2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at Simcoe CAS is:
3. Specialized rates or payments, if available, are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child. If Simcoe CAS 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 Simcoe CAS?
We offer post-adoption services such as counselling, child management training, therapy, respite care, etc. If the society is assisting the family with costs for any of these services, this is specified in the adoption assistance agreement. Adoptive families are also invited to any training that they would find relevant, free of charge. We host a yearly Adoption Picnic for adoptive families, and we are in the process of forming a post-adoption support group to be run by one of our adoptive parents.
5. What medical or dental services are available at Simcoe CAS?
Medical and dental services are offered for foster children only.
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?
Relatives would be eligible for services, but not payments. There have been exceptions to this based on what it would take to make the child’s adoption successful.
8. Do children adopted from private agencies receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?
We will assist any adopted child and family if they come to us for help. However, children adopted from private agencies receive services, not payments.
9. When do subsidy payments begin?
Payments can begin at any time, but the general rule is that subsidy payments begin at adoption finalization. Post-finalization requests are also possible.
10. Will Simcoe CAS consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?
Yes. We consider family circumstances and what benefits the parent(s) has in place and look to cover additional costs not covered by the plan.
11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them at Simcoe CAS?
12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?
There are no formally recognized assistance rates for adoption after the finalization. If we enter into subsidy agreements with an adoptive family, assistance is based on the needs of the child, what benefits the family has, and what services are available to the family in their community.
The form of assistance and the amounts vary. In some cases, we have helped couples move where safety was an issue. In other cases, we provide a monthly dollar amount so a parent can stay home during the adjustment period. This is usually an amount to “bump up” existing benefits. Sometimes, we simply agree to negotiate when an expense comes up in the future, such as orthodontia or the anticipated future need for therapy. In all cases, we also explore what benefits the parent has in place and look to cover additional costs not covered by the plan.
13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility at Simcoe CAS? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?
Eligibility is determined by the front line social worker in collaboration with the supervisor and a senior manager.
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 Simcoe CAS?
The agreement is negotiated by the front line social worker and approval is given by the worker's supervisor and a senior manager at the Society.
16 A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used at Simcoe CAS?
Agreements are typically reviewed on an annual basis.
17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?
Modifications can occur during the annual review process, or earlier if either party requests a 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 at Simcoe CAS?
19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at Simcoe 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.
The agency does not have a formal policy regarding post-finalization requests for adoption assistance; but we have provided assistance in these cases.
System Operation and Program Funding
21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at Simcoe CAS?
The adoption assistance budget is not funded at the provincial level. Simcoe funds adoption assistance from the general budget.
22. Below are other programs that may delineate Simcoe CAS's adoption assistance program from others around the country.