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Northumberland Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated June 2008

Agency Contact Person

Wendy Gordon
Regional Adoption Program Manager
1100 Chemong Road
Peterborough, ON K9H 7S2
Phone: 705-743-9751
Fax: 705-745-6641

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

Winning Kids (Eastern Ontario)

Northumberland Children’s Aid Society web information:

1. Northumberland CAS's legal definition of special needs is as follows:

There is no official or legal definition of special needs. However, each child is looked upon as an individual and thus the child’s needs are viewed as being specific to that child and the family’s ability to meet those needs.

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

There is not a standard rate. Any financial assistance is based on the needs of the child and the family’s ability to meet those needs.

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

Any kind of financial assistance cannot be more then it would be to continue to raise a child in foster care.

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 Northumberland CAS?

The adoption worker and the family, determine what will be the most appropriate support the family that may be financial or support services, like counseling.

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

Ongoing service of a psychological nature might be available should the child/family require it. The inclusion of additional services is infrequent.

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

When a child turns 18 the assistance ends, except that the child may now apply for their non-identifying information.

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

The adoption policies and procedures do not differentiate between kin and non-kin placements.

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?

This depends on what the agreement is. It could be at the beginning of the probation period or it could be at finalization.

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


11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them by Northumberland CAS?


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

The individual agencies have their own standards for assistance and each executive director signs off on any permanency agreements.

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

Executive Director makes the decision with input from the Adoption Manager and the Adoption Worker.

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?


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

The agreement is negotiated between the family and the adoption worker. It then comes to the adoption manager and is signed off by the executive director.

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

Permanency agreements must be reviewed annually and this is done by the adoption worker. It may be done by interview or over the telephone and a new agreement is signed.

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

Yes – this would occur at the annual review.

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 Northumberland CAS?

With the new legislation, anyone who adopted after November 30, 2006 is eligible to come back to request assistance even if they did not complete a permanency agreement.

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process with Northumberland CAS?

A family would start with speaking with their worker, it then goes to the adoption manager, to the executive director, the internal complaints panel and finally to the CFSRB.

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.

Please see question #18.

System Operation and Program Funding

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

The CAS is funded by the government of Ontario and each year when a budget is created included in it is funds for adoption assistance.

22. Below are other programs that may delineate Northumberland CAS's adoption assistance program from others around the country.

Northumberland is a part of a regional adoption program working cooperatively with Hastings and Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Societies.

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