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Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry's Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated September 2004

Agency Contact Person

Sue Billard
Supervisor of Resources
P.O. Box 983
Cornwall, ON K6H 5V1
Phone: 613-932-3986
Fax: 613-932-6356
E-mail: sue.billard@cas.gov.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.


1. The CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry's definition of special needs is as follows:

The child has special needs, or the child is part of a sibling group that should be placed together in the same adoptive home.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry is:

Rates are set on a case-by-case basis by the agency.

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

Rates are set on a case-by-case basis by the agency.

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 the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

Additional benefits include:

  • Start up costs for large sibling groups
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment
  • Specialized daycare
  • Specialized camps
  • Tutoring
  • Per diem rate for siblings
  • Prescription drugs not covered by government health insurance
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Computers (hardware or specialized software)

For all of the above, applicants must first exhaust all funding from community service providers.

In addition, cases may be opened for counseling from adoption staff.

5. What medical or dental services are available at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

Dental care is provided in cases where therapeutic work is needed or there is a medical need. Routine dental payments are not covered, as this is understood to be a responsibility undertaken by the parents. Only costs not normally incurred are covered.

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

No. Benefits are terminated at age 18 since adult protection entitlements begin.

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

Yes, they are considered for the same benefits.

8. Do children adopted from private agencies receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?

No. It is rare for special needs children to be placed by private agencies.

 

Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

Payments may begin at the time of placement, or at the start of adoption probation, if that occurs after placement.

10. Will the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

A financial statement is required, along with a declaration of all other contributing community supports (Easter Seals, Lions Club, Rotary Club, etc.). Foster parents who adopt are not required to report income from fostering.

11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

When the Agency is actively recruiting a home for a special needs child, information is given to parents. However, there is no requirement to advise prospective parents of assistance.

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

The family and the worker discuss the needs of the child, and a proposal is made to the Director of Residential Services. Following receipt of financial statements, an agreement is reached. In some cases where there has been recruitment (Canada's Waiting Children, etc.), mention is made of the possibility of an adoption subsidy.

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

The adoption worker makes a presentation to senior management, which is forwarded to the Executive Director of the Agency 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?

Yes, the guidelines set the Ministry of Children's Services regarding adoption assistance require that the agency attempt to place in a family that does not request assistance. However, each agency is also required to place the child in the best home possible, and in the child's best interest. Therefore, the first requirement does not, in practical terms, restrict the choices and decisions made by the agency.

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

The adoption worker negotiates the agreement with the family, with approval from the Executive Director.

16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

There are no review procedures that are initiated by the family. Usually, agreements are made for one year. Close to the time that the agreement expires, a review of the family's income and the child's changing needs is done with the adoption worker and the Director of Residential Services. Agreements are also subject to an annual financial audit.

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

Yes, it can be modified by agreement between the agency and the family. Each agreement contains a termination clause, usually within a sixty-day notification period. In such a case, a new agreement would be signed by both parties.

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 the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

Yes, contracts can be made to recognize future needs. They must be supported by reference letters from the appropriate therapist (OT, speech, etc.).

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

There is no appeal, as adoption assistance is not recognized as an entitlement. Assistance is given to recruit and support families who would not otherwise be able to adopt a child with special needs or a sibling group who must be placed together.

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, requests are considered. The agency requires a letter from the family, which may include letters of support from professionals outlining the special needs. A financial statement is required, as well.

 

System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry?

The adoption system is administered by the agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Children's Services. Funding comes from the agency's general fund. There is no special funding from the Ministry to the agency for adoption subsidies.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate the CAS of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry's adoption assistance program from others in Ontario and 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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