United States

  News & Resources




Chatham-Kent Children's Services Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated January 2008

Agency Contact Person

Dorothy Watson
495 Grand Avenue West
Chatham, ON N7L 1C5
Phone: 519-358-4565
Fax: 519-352-4152

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

Ontario’s Adoption Resources on the Web:

Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Federal and Ontario Provincial Nonrefundable Tax Credits

The Adoption Council of Ontario

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services web information:

1. Chatham-Kent Children’s Services' definition of special needs is as follows:

Special needs could include a child with disabilities, medical or emotional needs.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services is:

There is no standard rate. It is negotiated on an individual 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 Chatham-Kent Children’s Services offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:


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 Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

Given that our agency is an integrated agency we can assist with a referral to our mental health department for counseling services. We also offer adoption disclosure services when an adult who was adopted request information regarding his/her birth family or requests a reunification service. This is separate from the subsidy.

5. What medical or dental services are available at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

These are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

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

None, unless negotiated in the subsidy.

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


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


Programmatic Procedures

9. When do subsidy payments begin?

Upon the date negotiated.

10. Will Chatham-Kent Children’s Services consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

A family’s finances are definitely taken into consideration in the subsidy agreement.

11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

Families are notified locally regarding what services are available.

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

Rates are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. These negotiations take place between the adoptive family, the Executive Director, the Director of Service, the Adoption Worker, the Supervisor, and sometimes the Children’s Services worker.

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

Same as Q 12. However, the Executive Director has the final determination.

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?

Normally, the child is placed while the negotiation of assistance has begun. If this were not the case, finding an adoptive family who does not need assistance is a consideration but is not a determining factor.

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

Same as question 12.

16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

They are reviewed annually.

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


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 Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis.

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

Adoptive families should send a letter to the adoption supervisor.

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 adoptive family should contact the agency and request a post adoption finalization subsidy.

System Operation And Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded at Chatham-Kent Children’s Services?

We are locally funded and administered.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate Chatham-Kent Children’s Services' adoption assistance program from others in Ontario and around the country.



North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848