Adoption and Guardianship Assistance - Connecticut

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What specific factors or conditions does your State consider to determine that a child cannot be placed with an adoptive family without providing financial assistance? ("What is your State definition of special needs?")

A child with special needs is defined as a child that has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to placement or adoption without financial assistance:

  • Eight years of age or older
  • Two years of age or older and a member of a minority
  • Member of a sibling group of two are more children to be placed together
  • Diagnosis of a physical, mental or emotional disability, or at high risk of developing such a condition

 

What is the maximum amount a family may receive in non-recurring adoption expenses from your State? (Adoptive parents can receive reimbursement of certain approved, "one-time" adoption expenses incurred in the process of finalizing a special needs adoption.)

$750 per child

 

Does your State enter into deferred adoption assistance agreements? (In some States, adoptive parents can enter into an agreement in which they choose to defer the receipt of a Medicaid card, the monthly monetary payment, or both and can elect to receive the Medicaid card and/or monetary payment at another time.)

Connecticut does not offer deferred adoption assistance. However, Connecticut, does have a Subsidy After Finalization, that, once filed with all the supporting documentation, may be considered at the discretion of the Commissioner for conditions resulting from, or directly related to, the totality of circumstances surrounding the child prior to placement in adoption. A post-finalization subsidy cannot be granted for new conditions or circumstances that occurred following legal adoption.

 

When can adoption assistance payments and benefits begin in your State?

Adoption assistance payments and benefits may begin in Connecticut after adoption finalization.

 

How are changes made to the adoption assistance agreement in your State?

  • When can a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  • How does a parent request a change in the adoption assistance agreement?
  • What if a parent does not receive the change they request in the adoption assistance agreement?

Any subsidy decision by the Department may be appealed by the adopting parents or a licensed child placing agency to the Adoption Subsidy Review Board CGS 17a-117(b). If a subsidy is to be terminated or reduced by the department, proper notice must be given. If an appeal is taken, a hearing shall be held before the Adoption Subsidy Review Board at least 30 days prior to the termination or reduction, and the subsidy shall continue without modification until the final decision of the board.

 

What types of postadoption services are available in your State, and how do you find out more about them?

Post adoption services in Connecticut are overseen by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), Bureau of Adoption and Interstate Compact Services. The Adoption Assistance Program is a confidential assessment, education, brief counseling, and referral service available to adoptive and guardianship families, and to professionals seeking support for their client families.

The adoption subsidy unit works in collaboration with the Adoption Assistance Program, managed by the University of Connecticut Health Center and receives direct referrals to provide a variety of supportive services. Families can call the program directly for support, referral, and other related resources at 1.877.679.1961 or via email aap@uchc.edu.

Within available appropriations, services from the department's Voluntary Services Program may be requested by adoptive families. To access postadoption services, adoptive families must self-refer through the agency's careline at 1.800.842.2288. More information is available through DCF area offices.

Casey Family Services provides post adoption support services in New England.

Many private organizations offer a variety of respite options. See the ARCH National Respite Network Respite Locator Service, search by state to locate Connecticut’s respite programs.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or post adoption services contact for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

What mental health services are provided by your State?

Public mental health services for children in Connecticut are administered through the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). DCF has statutory authority to provide for children's mental health services. The Department operates the Albert J. Solnit Center - North Campus and the Albert J. Solnit Center - South Campus. Through Connecticut Community KidCare, the Department also provides funding for a broad array of clinical and other services in the community, including outpatient clinics for children, therapeutic group homes, extended day treatment programs, emergency mobile psychiatric services, respite care, family advocacy, intensive case management and much more. Children and families can access state-operated or state-funded community services directly or through referrals from providers in the behavioral health system. Services are provided on a sliding scale, and the majority of service providers are affiliated with a variety of health insurance plans. More information may be found on the Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker or medical assistance specialist for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

Does your State provide additional finances or services for medical or therapeutic needs not covered under your State medical plan to children receiving adoption assistance?

Adoptive parents can request additional payments for medically necessary services or items that were not part of the adoption assistance agreement. The only way to receive an adoption assistance increase is through a diagnosis of “medically complex” as all adoption assistance monetary payments are made at the maximum amount permitted at the of the child’s adoption finalization. If a child’s condition becomes what is referred to as “medically complex”, parents can request to increase to the rate available for children with this diagnosis. Payments can be on a one-time basis for a specific purpose or an on-going payment, depending on the nature of the need and request. Examples of need are van modifications for a handicapped child and specialized therapy not covered by Medicaid and therapeutic respite.

Note: Not all services may be available in all cases. Contact your adoption assistance worker for information regarding process, eligibility, availability, and duration of services.

 

What is your State's process for applying for a fair hearing? (A fair hearing is a legal, administrative procedure that provides a forum to address disagreements with agency decisions.)

Any adoption subsidy decision by the Department may be appealed by the adoptive parents or a licensed child-placing agency to the Adoption Subsidy Review Board (ASRB) per CGS 17a-117(b). The three-person board consists of the Commissioner of DCF or her designee, a private licensed child placing agency employee, and an adoptive parent appointed by the Governor. If an appeal is taken, a hearing must be held before the ASRB at least 30 days prior to the termination or reduction of the subsidy, and the subsidy shall continue without modification until the final decision of the Board. Send hearing request forms to:

Department of Children and Families, Hearings Unit
505 Hudson Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06106
E-mail: DCF.Appeals@ct.gov

 

Does your state, territory, or tribe offer a guardianship subsidy or assistance (monthly payments and medical coverage) program?

Yes. Assistance is available regardless of the child’s title IV-E eligibility.

  • Does the guardianship assistance program differ from the adoption assistance program? Yes
  • If so, how does it differ? There is no college assistance available to Subsidized Transfer of Guardianship (STOG); there is for adoption. STOG can name successor guardian and, if criteria are met, subsidy can transfer. There is no ability to transfer an adoption stipend. STOG stipend continues through the youth's 21st birthday, provided youth is in school full time. Adoption subsidy ends at 18, however, if a child is adopted after age 16, the adoption subsidy continues until youth's 21st birthday, provided he/she is in school full time.

 

What are the eligibility criteria for a child to receive guardianship assistance?

Subsidy is only permitted when reunification or adoption is not an appropriate permanency option. Information about Regular Subsidized Transfer of Guardianship (STOG) and Permanent STOG is addressed in the Connecticut General Statutes.

 

Do families have to meet a kinship definition to receive guardianship assistance? If yes, how is kinship defined?

Yes and child is already placed in the family.

 

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