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Waterloo Family and Children's Services Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated July 2008

Agency Contact Person

Susan Maciaczyk
200 Ardelt Avenue
Kitchener, ON N2C 2L9
Phone: 519-576-0540 x3671
Fax: 519-570-0160
E-mail: susan.maciaczyk@facswaterloo.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. 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

Waterloo Family & Children’s Services web information:

http://www.facswaterloo.org/html/Adoption.html


1. Waterloo FACS's definition of special needs is as follows:

For the purposes of adoption subsidy, special needs of a child are defined as:

  • A diagnosed or recognized risk of having a physical, mental, developmental, behavioural and/or emotional disability;
  • Preserving the child’s religious, racial and/or cultural heritage;
  • Preserving the child’s fraternity with siblings from whom he/she should not be separated;
  • Maintaining kin relationships;
  • Ensuring continuity of a child’s placement.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at Waterloo FACS is:

There are no standard rates funded through the Ministry. Thus, all subsidies are set on a case-by-case basis.

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

There are no specialized rates funded through the Ministry.

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 Waterloo FACS?

Post adoption support is done informally by workers as this is not funded by the Ministry. At Waterloo we offer adoption disclosure services, assistance with openness (e.g. forwarding letters and photos between adoptive and birth families), information on resources and services to families raising special needs children and post adopt support group (facilitated by adoptive parents).

5. What medical or dental services are available at Waterloo FACS?

We encourage adoptive parents to obtain private insurance/benefit coverage to cover these costs, as once a child is placed on adoption the agency is not able to cover this. In exceptional circumstances where the child has extensive medical or dental needs, this may be included in a subsidy agreement.

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

All our subsidy agreements expire on the child’s 18th birthday.

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

Yes.

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?

Payments begin anytime after the child has been placed on adoption probation, when there is a demonstrated need.

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

Yes. We have standard income guidelines we use to determine a family’s eligibility for Adoption subsidy.

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

Through the application process and contact with adoption workers, families become aware of the benefits our agency is able to offer.

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

Each CAS determines what funds they can allocate to subsidies from the overall budget.

13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility at Waterloo FACS? 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 develops a written subsidy proposal based on the child’s special needs and the family income situation. The supervisor of adoption reviews the proposal, but final approval is made by our Executive Director.

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?

The agency will make reasonable efforts to find and appropriate adoptive family without the use of subsidy.

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

The adoptive family negotiates these with the adoption worker, who submits the written proposal to the adoption supervisor and Executive Director for approval.

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

All subsidy agreements are reviewed at minimum on a yearly basis by both the agency and the adoptive family. Changes are made dependent on the child’s current needs and/or the family’s income situation.

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

Yes.

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 Waterloo FACS?

No. Agreements are negotiated at the point when the adoptive family identifies a need and applies to the agency to have this considered for subsidy.

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

Families are requested to put their complaint in writing to initiate our internal complaints process.

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.

They simply contact their adoption worker or the adoption supervisor and we will walk them through the process of identifying the need and negotiating subsidy.


System Operation and Program Funding

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

The Ministry does not include adoption assistance funding on a “per adoption” basis. Agencies are provided limited budget that they are responsible for providing assistance through.

22. Below are other programs that may differentiate Waterloo FACS' 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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