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York Region Children's Aid Society Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated June 2008

Agency Contact Person

Samantha Patchell
85 Eagle Street West
P.O. Box 358
Newmarket, ON L3Y 4X7
Phone: 905-895-2318 x2271
Fax: 905-895-8379
E-mail: Samantha.Patchell@yorkcas.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

York Region CAS web information:

http://www.yorkcas.org/adoption.asp


1. York Region CAS's definition of special needs is as follows:

For adoption purposes, we would define special needs based upon known or potential risks a child may posses, such as fetal alcohol exposure, physical or mental health concerns, trauma associated with abuse, or delays associated with neglect. We would also define special needs when an appropriate adoptive family may be hard to find.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at York Region CAS is:

We do not have a standard rate.

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

We would consider any exceptional parenting expense associated with the special needs a child may possess. We also consider the ability of an adoptive family to cover these costs directly, or through the use of employee benefit plans. We will not fund for services when these services are available, for free, in the community, unless there is an extensive waiting period that would not be in the child’s best interest.

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 York Region CAS?

Post adoption services are not fully developed at this agency. Currently, we offer assistance in referrals to community services, recommending services from which we’ve had positive outcomes regarding adoption matters. We have offered some direct, brief counseling. In the future, we are looking to offer opportunities for parent training, too.

5. What medical or dental services are available at York Region CAS?

None.

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

None.

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

Yes, but only if the child was in the care of our agency. However, we do not offer subsidies for privately arranged adoptions.

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 can start immediately after the adoption is finalized, or at any time up until the child’s 18th birthday, depending upon the child’s needs.

10. Will York Region CAS consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

Yes.

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

Yes.

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

We have no set rate. Costs are child-specific.

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

The Adoption Supervisor and the Service Director approve the child’s eligibility, but the final approval is with the Executive Director. Adoption workers assist the family in completing the subsidy applications, advocate for the need for the subsidy, and provide on going administrative support regarding subsidies. York CAS has no regional decision making mechanism.

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.

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

Initially, the family calls the Adoption Department. If they’ve previously worked with an adoption worker, that worker is assigned to support the family. If they haven’t worked with an existing adoption worker, then one is assigned. The worker helps the family understand the application process, and what the agency is and is not able to fund. Once the application (and supporting documents) is received, the adoption worker meets with the Adoption Supervisor to discuss the merits of the application. If the Adoption Supervisor supports the application, a summary is written to support why the application is being supported. The application is then forwarded to the Service Director and the 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 York Region CAS?

The agreement is reviewed at a minimum of every 12 months.

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

Yes, if the modification is supported by the agency.

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 York Region CAS?

No. The agency no longer requires these agreements. Currently, any parent who has adopted through our agency can apply for an adoption subsidy any time following the adoption finalization (until the child turns 18).

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

Parents should contact the Adoption Supervisor to request a meeting. If the parents are not satisfied with the meeting, they can meet with the Service Director, and then with the Executive Director.

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.

Simply call the Adoption Department, and a worker will be assigned to help you through this process.


System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at York Region CAS?

Our only funding, for this, is by Ministry dollars.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate York Region CAS' adoption assistance program from others in Ontario and around the country.

N/A


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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