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Timiskaming Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated September 2004

Agency Contact Person

Beth Hawken
Manager, District Resources
157 Whitewood Ave.
P.O. Box 68
New Liskeard, ON
Phone: 705-647-1200
Fax: 705-647-7467
E-mail: bhawken@timiskamingchildren.org

 

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. Profiles for each province or territory are available on our web site at www.nacac.org. If you have additional 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. Timiskaming's legal definition of special needs is as follows:

Special needs include children in sibling groups, or with physical or developmental needs.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate in Timiskaming is:

There are no standard rates. The Director of Finance sets the rates on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the particular need and the cost of care.

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

Depends on the needs of the child.

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 in Timiskaming?

In addition to monthly payments, Timiskaming can provide the following post-adoption services:

  • Counselling;
  • One-time purchases of special needs equipment (specialized helmets or toys for a child, if deemed necessary);
  • Payments for special dietary supplements

5. What medical or dental services are available in Timiskaming?

There are family physicians, access to paediatricians, psychiatrists, internalist, surgeons, etc. as well as dental surgeons, orthodontists in Timiskaming.

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

None at this time.

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

Yes, if our agency was involved in the adoption.

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

We have never had a request from a private agency.

 

Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

Subsidies begin at the time of the adoption placement. Starting dates could differ (i.e. if during the adoption a need develops that would warrant an adoption subsidy).

10. Will Timiskaming consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

The subsidy is determined with reference to the child's needs.

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

No, only if there is a demonstrated need. Benefits are not published.

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

Rates are determined locally by the agency. The Director of Finance sets the rates on a case-by-case basis, taking into account what the need is and the cost of care.

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

The Local Executive Director determines a child's eligibility. The worker's role is to provide information regarding the child's needs and the circumstances surrounding the adoption to the Executive Director. The worker also is responsible to negotiate the amount of subsidy needed.

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.

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated at Timiskaming?

An assistance agreement is negotiated between the adoption worker and adoptive parents. An offer is made to the adoptive parents and an agreement is negotiated.

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

Assistance agreements are reviewed annually.

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

Yes, by the agency where the agreement originated.

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 Timiskaming?

If the need develops then a subsidy could be considered.

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at Timiskaming?

There is not an appeal process specific to adoption subsidies, the need for subsidy is negotiated by the adoption worker, adopting parents and if necessary, the manager. Final approval of the subsidy lies with the Executive Director. If an agreement cannot be reached and the adopting parents are dissatisfied with the service they are receiving from the agency, they can access the complaint process 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.

The responsibility remains with the placing agency. If the need for subsidy arises this would be considered.

 

System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at Timiskaming?

The adoption subsidy program is locally administered and funded out of the general agency budget. The program is operated on an "as needed" basis. Consideration is given to the circumstances of each case and if a subsidy will remove barriers to an adoption placement , then it is negotiated with the adoptive family.

22. Below are other programs that may differentiate Timiskaming's adoption assistance program from others 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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