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Thunder Bay Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated February 2008

Agency Contact Person

Anna Gosselin
1110 Jade Court
Thunder Bay Ontario P7B 6M7
Phone: 807-343-6100
Fax: 807-343-0141
E-mail: Anna.Gosselin@thunderbaycas.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

Children’s Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay web information:

http://www.thunderbaycas.ca/

1. CAS of Thunder Bay's definition of special needs is as follows:

**Adoption Subsidy criteria is currently under review by this agency

The Children’s Aid Society of The District of Thunder Bay may consider the following as criteria for eligibility for adoption subsidy

  • Children with significant special physical, emotional, mental health needs as identified by a medical or other professional
  • The placement of older children and/or sibling groups
  • To facilitate cultural or racial match in an adoptive placement
  • To preserve continuity of relationships
  • To address significant financial need of a family
  • To assist with one time or short term costs associated with the placement of a child or sibling group

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at CAS of Thunder Bay is:

Financial assistance for each family is based on the needs of the child(ren) and an assessment of the family’s financial situation.

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 Thunder Bay offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:

Financial assistance of each family is based on the needs of the child(ren) and an assessment of the family’s financial situation.

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 Thunder Bay?

Support services can and usually are outlined in the subsidy agreement. These agreed upon services may include purchase of services not available through community resources or private benefits plans such as assessments, counseling, speech, physical and occupational therapy, assistive devices, and other services.

We provide consultation and referral for all adoptive families and frequently will assist them with connections to community or agency resources. Adoptive parents would be eligible to take advantage of all relevant training offered by our agency. 

5. What medical or dental services are available at CAS of Thunder Bay?

An adoption subsidy may include an agreement to assist with medical or dental services from the time of placement or in special circumstances. We will consider covering dental care if the family does not have an insurance plan with this coverage.  A family is required to seek services that are publicly funded where possible.

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

There are no benefits available after age 18 yrs.

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

Adoption subsidy is considered where the needs of the child or the family are significant and is not based on the family’s relationship to the child.

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

No


Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

When a subsidy includes financial payments to a family they usually begin when the adoption probation starts.

10. Will CAS of Thunder Bay consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

Yes, family income is considered along with any special needs the child and family may be supporting.

11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them at CAS of Thunder Bay?

Adoption subsidy items are discussed on a case-by-case basis. Discussions about the financial strength of the family and the supports that are identified by professionals as needed for the child, and the supports the family identifies for themselves, as needed.

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

This process is currently under review. Assistance rates tend to be managed between the family and their worker. Senior management approves the agreement.

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

The final determination of eligibility is made by senior management within the agency and usually includes consultation with the workers involved. There is no regional involvement.

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.  This agency seeks to place a child with the most suitable family. 

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated at CAS of Thunder Bay?

Subsidy assistance is developed between the adoption worker and the family with input as needed from the adoption supervisor and senior management.

16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used at CAS of Thunder Bay?

The yearly review is generally completed between the adoptive family and their worker. This review may be limited to telephone contact where little or no change is expected or has occurred. A financial statement may be required.

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

Yes. When adoption subsidies are reviewed on an annual basis they can be modified.

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 Thunder Bay?

Yes.  Deferred agreements are offered at the CAS of Thunder Bay. 

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at CAS of Thunder Bay?

Families may access the agency client complaint process.  This process is outlined in a brochure available to all clients of the agency.

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.

If the adopted child had been in the care of this society immediately prior to the adoption the family may approach the agency after finalization to be considered for an adoption subsidy. The family would contact their previous adoption worker or supervisor to initiate discussions with the agency.


System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at CAS of Thunder Bay?

In Thunder Bay (as in all Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario), funding for adoption subsidy is determined by each individual society and must come from their global budget. 

22. Below are other programs that may delineate CAS of Thunder Bay'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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