Have a question regarding DCF and the coronavirus? Email us at: DCF.COVID-19@ct.gov


For information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent call 1-888-KID-HERO or e-mail:  KidHero@cafafct.org   Do you have a question about Subsidies?  E-mail us here. OPEN HOUSE CALENDAR
Adoption Subsidy Approval Checklist
Subsidized Guardianship Approval Checklist
Successful Adoption Day Photos
CT Foster/Adopt Manual
     Chapter 1: DCF Licensed Homes & Regional Office Staff
     Chapter 2: Child Protection, Children Placed in Foster Care
     Chapter 3: Adoption
     Chapter 4: Education
     Chapter 5: Legal
     Chapter 6: Safety
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 
     Adoption Search Q&A
     Adoption Questions After Finalization
     Connecticut Adoption Search (Updated May 2023)
     Fosters Q&A
Information Request Form
Interstate Compacts Overview
Give the Gift of Adoption!
Heart Gallery:  Connecticut Children
Ongoing Requirements
Permanency Placement Services Program (PPSP)
Private Provider Foster Care Contacts
Permanency Resource Exchange
Post-Adoption Services
Post Licensing Training
Re-Licensing Process
Reunion Registry
Road to Fostering
Social Workers: Fostering Love (The Chronicle News Article)
Support Groups / Support for Adoptive Families
Subsidized Adoption / Subsidized Guardianship
Trainings (Online, For Foster and Adoptive Parents)
Who are the Children?
Why Foster?
Working Together


Watch this Video from Annie C. about Foster Care in Connecticut

About Adoption   Elizabeth and Tracey

Read about Elizabeth and Tracey's Adoption Success Story

Adoptive families play a critical part in the life of a child by providing a permanent, safe and loving home. Just like the children they adopt, adoptive parents come from a variety of backgrounds. You can become a foster or adoptive parent and truly change a child’s life forever. The children waiting in state care vary from age newborn to 17, with the majority of them being between the ages of 5 and 17. Many have physical, emotional and/or intellectual disabilities. Although many have challenges, they all have wonderful strengths also. Children in state care are currently living in temporary foster homes, group homes or residential settings. Some have had multiple placements. Some wait with siblings, and some wait alone. They remain hopeful that someone will come forward soon to provide them with the loving family that all children deserve.

Once you are licensed, you may choose the age, gender, ethnicity and "needs level" of the children you care for. Support is provided to you before and after the child is placed in your home.

The Department of Children and Families has taken great strides over the last several years to improve how we serve vulnerable children and families in Connecticut. But, we have not done so alone. No one has been more instrumental in that progress than our foster parents.  

Beyond question, foster parents have complex roles caring for children with often complicated lives. What is far less complex is what motivates them to become foster parents.  They say it is simple: they love kids, and the children need them. 


Parents who adopt children and provide foster care say it's the most fulfilling and important thing they've ever done. As a foster or adoptive parent, you'll have the chance to make a REAL difference -- to do something that will have lasting importance.


Children waiting to be adopted and children living in temporary foster care need adults in their lives to let them know they matter. They need parents to be positive role models and teach them to ride a bike, or pick out a prom dress, or talk about what happened in school each day.  They need adults who care.

At the Department of Children and Families, we hope you'll consider stepping forward.  If you do, we'll be by your side to provide training, financial assistance, and social workers to support you.   


Adoption Assistance Program     Adoption Assistance Brochure

The CT Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) offers confidential assessment, brief counseling, and referral services to all families who've adopted children from the DCF foster care system or through the DCF relative guardianship program. 

The AAP is designed to assist in the identification and resolution of a guardianship / adoptive family’s concerns.
The program is housed at:

University of Connecticut-Health Center 
270 Farmington Avenue
The Exchange, Suite 262
Farmington, CT 06032-6210
Tel. 860-679-4006 
Toll free in CT: 877-679-1961 


Permanency Resource Exchange

The Permanency Resource Exchange is located at 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106 and is charged with maintaining a registry of all children legally free for adoption in Connecticut per CGS 17a-43. Additional work done by Permanency Resource Exchange Staff include:

  • Maintaining a registry of families approved for adoption.
  • Referring appropriate home studies (matching a family’s request for a child to the children available) to area offices that are requesting adoptive and “legal risk” families for children who are free for adoption or who need a permanent home while the legal work is completed.
  • Conducting specialized recruitment efforts on behalf of Connecticut’s children who are waiting to be adopted that include the annual Heart Gallery, listings on the national exchange, participation in ADOPT US KIDS and aggressive outreach efforts to other states-participating in inter-jurisdictional adoption.
  • Providing technical assistance to area offices and participating in permanency planning teams.
  • Responding on behalf of the Commissioner to correspondence from agencies and individuals interested in Connecticut’s adoption laws and the Department’s adoption program.
  • Maintaining all closed adoption records.
  • Processing subsidized adoption finalizations for the Commissioner’s signature.
  • Providing information to adult adoptees - see “Adult Adoption Search” on this website for more information.
  • Maintaining the “Adoption Reunion Registry” and the “Medical Information Registry” for adopted children.
  • Answering questions from the general public regarding Connecticut’s adoption laws and processes.
  • Manage the College Assistance Program.
  • Manage The Permanency Placement Services Program contracts.


Legal Risk Adoptions

All children are entitled to a permanent nurturing family which meets their physical, medical, emotional, and educational needs. In most situations this will be a child’s family of origin and the Department of Children and Families will make every effort to support the biological family’s desire to raise their children. However, if it becomes necessary to place a child outside of the family home, then reasonable efforts must be made to reunify the child with his/her family or with relatives as soon as possible.

If reunification with the family is not in the child’s best interest, it is crucial that a timely plan for adoption be considered.  To avoid multiple placements, a decision to place a child in a "legal risk home" should be

A “legal risk home” is defined as one which is licensed for adoption, but provides foster care for a child who is not legally free, i.e., parental rights have not yet been terminated by the Probate Court or the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. A “legal risk family” is expected to make a commitment to the child and to work collaboratively with DCF and the child’s biological parents to accomplish the best possible plan for the child whether that is return to the birth family or the finalization of an adoption with the “legal risk family.”

In Connecticut, there are two different courts that can terminate parental rights: the Probate Court and the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. When a child comes into the care of DCF and the parent(s) have clearly stated that they want to relinquish their legal rights to the child and the child is not yet committed to the Department, DCF will file a petition in the Probate Court. When the Probate Court grants the petition, it will name the Department as statutory parent, thereby giving the Department the authority to place the child in adoption.

If the parents are not willing to consent to have their parental rights terminated, then the Department must file petitions in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters seeking the termination of the parent(s) right to the child. DCF must prove that there are sufficient grounds to terminate the rights of the parents and must also prove that this result is in the child’s best interests. The Court requires a high standard of proof; the Court is required to find that the Department has proven its case by the measure of “clear and convincing evidence.” If the Court grants the termination petition, the law allows the parents to appeal the decision to the State Appellate Court. If an appeal is taken, then the parental rights are not considered terminated until the Appellate Court has ruled on the matter. This consideration by the Appellate Court may take a year or more.

Thus, the “legal risk family” takes a “legal risk” from the time of placement until (if the termination is appealed by the biological parent), a final decision is rendered by the Appellate Court that the child may not be eligible for adoption. The family, during this entire time, must act as a foster family to the child and is subject to the Department’s regulations and policies applicable to foster homes. This includes working closely with the Department and the biological family to facilitate visitation between the child and his/her family and facilitating the child’s return to the biological family if this is deemed to be in the child’s best interest.

The intent of the Department of Children and Families “legal risk” program is that the child in question will be legally freed for adoption and that the placement will be permanent - however this cannot be guaranteed to the prospective adoptive parents. Children clearly need families that will provide long-term, loving, and stable homes for them regardless of their legal status. However, becoming a “legal risk family” is a decision that a family should think about and carefully consider. It can be very hard and challenging, as well as ultimately very rewarding. We recommend that you talk with your social worker and with other families that have taken part in the “legal risk program.”

We would like to increase the number of “legal risk families” that we have available for our children but the decision must rest with you after you review the program and decide if you are willing to “take a risk for a child…!!”

Do you have questions about legal risk adoptions in Connecticut?  Please give us a call at 860-622-9835 or e-mail us at nadege.lys@ct.gov. We would be happy to talk further with you.



      DCF-338 Medical information on Genetic Parents
      DCF-3060 Adult Adoptee Request for Information
      DCF-3061 Contact Preference and Reunion Registry Form for Genetic Parents
      DCF-3062 Request for Adoption Search
      How to request a non-certified copy of original Birth Certificate of an adopted person


Adoption Subsidy Approval Checklist (Forms and Documents to be included in packet)


      DCF-415 checklist for Adoption Subsidy Approval
      DCF-416 one in the child's biological name and one in the child's adopted name, signed by SW & subsidy manager
      DCF-418-I (in child's adoptive name) signed by adoptive parents subsidy manager. 
           *If there is an addendum for services please submit proposal outlining additional services signed by all parties.
      DCF-738 (in child's adoptive name) signed by adoptive parent(s) and subsidy manager
      DCF-739 (in child's adoptive name) signed  and by adoptive parent(s)
      DCF-337 Genetic Parent(s) Information form - signed and initialed by DCF SW and adoptive parent(s)
      DCF-338 Genetic Parent(s) Medical Information form signed by DCF and signed & initialed by adoptive parent(s) Immunization Record
      DCF-2248 Child Information Disclosure Form, signed by pre-adoptive family, DCF, etc.
      VS-51 COPY of Record of Adoption, signed by adoptive parent(s) 
      Revenue Enhancement Unit (REU) e-mails regarding IV-E status and social security benefits, as applicable
      Copy of Child's Birth Certificate
      Copy of Child's Social Security Card
      JD-JM-195 Adoption Petition 
      JD-JM-196 Adoption Data Sheet
      JD-JM-197 Adoption Agreement
      Copy of citizenship papers/green card, if the child was born outside of the United States.     one in the child's biological name and one in the child's adopted name, signed by SW & subsidy manager
      DCF-418-I (in child's adoptive name) signed by adoptive parents subsidy manager. 
           *If there is an addendum for services please submit proposal outlining additional services signed by all parties.
      DCF-738 (in child's adoptive name) signed by adoptive parent(s) and subsidy manager
      DCF-739 (in child's adoptive name) signed  and by adoptive parent(s)
      DCF-337 Genetic Parent(s) Information form - signed and initialed by DCF SW and adoptive parent(s)
      DCF-338 Genetic Parent(s) Medical Information form signed by DCF and signed & initialed by adoptive parent(s) Immunization Record
      DCF-2248 Child Information Disclosure Form, signed by pre-adoptive family, DCF, etc.
      VS-51 COPY of Record of Adoption, signed by adoptive parent(s) 
      Revenue Enhancement Unit (REU) e-mails regarding IV-E status and social security benefits, as applicable
      Copy of Child's Birth Certificate
      Copy of Child's Social Security Card
      JD-JM-195 Adoption Petition 
      JD-JM-196 Adoption Data Sheet
      JD-JM-197 Adoption Agreement
      Copy of citizenship papers/green card, if the child was born outside of the United States.    


Adult Adoption Search - Connecticut Search Law

Connecticut Search Law provides birth parents, birth relatives, adult adoptees, adults formerly in foster care, and adoptive parents with access to certain information contained in adoption files. The laws surrounding adoption files are very specific and the information below is a summary of the law:

According to Connecticut Search Law (Connecticut General Statutes, §§ 45a-743 through 45a-757) adult adoptees, adults formerly in foster care for whom the state of Connecticut had been appointed the statutory parent, and adoptive parents have access to certain information contained in adoption files, which is most often referred to as non-identifying and medical information.

Birth parents have the ability to update information regarding their medical history that is contained in their child’s adoption file.

Additionally, adult adoptees, adults formerly in foster care, birth parents and birth relatives have the ability to conduct a search for their birth family members who are 18 and older through the agency that completed their adoption or the termination of their parental rights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Connecticut Adoption Search

Who can receive non-identifying and medical information?

If the adoption occurred in Connecticut or if the parental rights were terminated in Connecticut:

  • Adult Adoptees (18 yrs and older)
  • An Adult for Whom the State of Connecticut was the Statutory Parent
  • Adoptive Parent of a Minor Child (Under 18)

Who can conduct a search for family members?

If the adoption occurred in Connecticut or if the parental rights were terminated in Connecticut:

  • Adult Adoptees (18 years old and older)
  • An Adult for Whom the State of Connecticut was the Statutory Parent
  • Birth Parent (of adult adoptee)
  • Non-adopted Adult Birth Siblings (with birth parent’s consent)
  • Birth Relatives (with birth parent’s consent)

What information is available?

  • Non-identifying and medical information (i.e., information associated with the family background of the birth parents including social, religious, ethnic, educational, and employment history, and the circumstances of your birth and adoption)
  • Identifying information (with consent of person being sought)

How does one access the information?

  • The agency that did the adoption would research their files to compile information for the requestor.

What if someone doesn’t know which agency did the adoption?

  • The Department of Children and Families, Office of Foster Care and Adoption Services, has a master database that lists all adoptions, both public and private, which have occurred in Connecticut since 1944. Information can be obtained by calling 860-990-5135 writing DCF Search Unit, 505 Hudson Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or e-mailing the Search Unit at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families at nicole.russo@ct.gov
  • If the adoption was completed prior to 1944, the adoptee can contact directly the Probate Court that was involved in the adoption finalization.

What procedures are involved?

  • The person wishing to receive information or conduct a search must make their request in writing to the agency that completed their adoption and have their signature notarized as proof of their identity.
  • The agency will initially provide non-identifying information.
  • If the individual wishes to search, then a personal interview is required. The agency will then attempt to locate the person being sought and gain that person’s permission before any identifying information can be released to the requestor.
  • If consent is provided, the agency will assist in arranging contact in a way that is acceptable to both parties.
  • If the family member being contacted does not provide consent, then the agency that completed the adoption will not be able to disclose any information about the person being sought. If this occurs, the requestor would have the ability to complete a Reunion Registry form so that their contact information may be provided if the family member changes their mind about contact in the future.

Are there any costs involved?

  • If the adoption was through the State of Connecticut (a public agency), there are no costs associated with searching.
  • Private adoption agencies have a fee.

What if the individual searching currently lives in another state, but was adopted in Connecticut?

  • The person searching can receive the background information through the mail by sending the agency a notarized letter confirming their identity.
  • If they wish to search, they will have to arrange for a personal interview to be done by a licensed clinical social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist, or an adoption agency in the state in which they reside.


Reunion Registry

  • Each adoption agency also maintains a Reunion Registry that allows adult adoptees, birth parents, and birth relatives to indicate their desire for contact with their family members.
  • If both the adoptee and the relative have registered for contact, then contact will be initiated by the agency of adoption. The above parties can also update medical histories to be enclosed in the record.
  • It is the responsibility of the person registered to update their contact information including changes to their names, addresses or phone numbers.
  • To have your name added to the Reunion Registry, or to update a Reunion Registry Form, call the agency involved with the adoption to request a form that must be fully completed and notarized.


Adults who were once committed to the care of the State of Connecticut Department of Children and Families

For individuals who had been committed to the care of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families but not adopted, a request can be made to see copies of their file as permitted by Connecticut Statute 17a-28(1)(A), 17a-28 (5), and 17a-28 6(A) and 6(B). This applies to adults (age 18 or older) who were not adopted. If the Closed Records Division can access the file, it will be copied and sent to the individual in question, pending receipt of a notarized letter confirming their identity.

For any additional information, please email dcf.closedrecords@ct.gov.


Post-Adoption Services

The following services are available to families who have adopted children through DCF:

Financial and Medical Subsidies
Children who have been adopted from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) foster care system and/or a private Connecticut licensed child-placing agency who have special needs are eligible for the subsidized adoption program. This program provides a financial subsidy and/or a medical subsidy to the family to provide for the child’s needs. Please see the “Subsidized Adoption” section of this website for further details about this program. 

Application Process
In order to apply for college assistance/post secondary assistance from the Department, a youth shall:
  • Apply/compete for appropriate grants and scholarships to offset costs and provide documentation of such efforts.
  • Contact Paul.Gressly@ct.gov  once the acceptance letter has been received, but no later than May 15th of the year in which the application is requested.
  • Complete the DCF 632 -Application for Financial Assistance for Post Secondary Education and send in the necessary information/forms required. You can fill it out online or request that DCF mail you an application. Send or e-mail the application by June 30th of the year in which the application is requested. A separate DCF-632 must be completed each year that the applicant is requesting financial assistance for post-secondary education.

Once all the required documentation is received, the Statement of Financial Assistance for Post Secondary Education: DCF-2098A is sent to an applicant and the Confirmation of Financial Assistance is sent to the educational institution. Tuition will be paid on a semester by semester basis.


Instructions for Financial Aid Application (For post-secondary Education and Interstate Compact)

  1. Complete sections 1 and 11, “Youth and School Information.” Then in section 111, you will need to write in the complete costs related to the tuition, school fees and the cost for on-campus room and board or projected costs for off-campus room and board. You may need to ask the Bursar or Business Office for a formal breakdown of the costs and attach the documentation to the form.
  2. Regarding grants and scholarships, please list the amount of money that you will receive in grants and scholarships. You will need to document the grants information by obtaining a financial breakdown from the school’s “Financial Aid Office.” Please also attach a copy of all scholarship award letters.
  3. Please sign and date the form. Your parent (if available) should also sign and date the form.
  4. In addition, you will need to send:
    • Copy of your acceptance letter to the school
    • Copy of your Financial Aid application
    • Copy of your high school transcript

Questions?   Contact:  paul.gressly@ct.gov


Ongoing Requirements

Each applicant:

  • Shall be accepted in a full time accredited or licensed program.
  • Shall maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 each year.
  • Shall contribute five hundred dollars ($500.00) to educational costs each year.
  • Shall provide to the Department at the end of each semester or trimester or quarter, as appropriate, documentation of
    • enrollment/registration
    • grades/report cards
  • Shall provide documentation of the application for financial assistance-annually.

Questions? Contact: Paul.Gressly@ct.gov


Adoption Subsidy Review Board

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.        


Post-Licensing Training

Each licensed core foster family shall attend six modules of training per year.

Post-Licensing Trainings offered:

     CAFAF Training Module Classes
     Foster Parent College
     Foster Parent College Benefits


Re-Licensing Process

The initial licensing process that all families complete is just the first step in a career of a Foster, Adoptive, Fictive Kin, Relative or Independent licensed family.  All licenses are issued for only two year period and are renewed annually.

Every two years from initial licensing date, every family is re-licensed and re-assessed by the FASU unit to assure that the family continues to meet the licensing standards and regulatory requirements set forth by the State of CT.  Re-approved families will have to meet PRIDE quality guidelines and have met post licensing training requirements.

Every two years each family makes a decision as to whether continue to be available to care for our children.  You will be sent a re-licensing application which needs to be completed and returned to your support SW.  The current license remains in effect until the re-licensing process is completed ONLY if the re-licensing application is submitted prior to the expiration date on your current license. 

The FASU unit will review your foster care record and talk with Social Workers who have had children placed in your home.  Once these steps are completed the re-licensing SW will contact you to schedule a Home Visit (HV).

During the HV the SW will discuss and changes in your home since last license was issued, such as but not limited to new HHM, changes in employment or income, child care arrangements, legal or health issues.  The SW will also tour your home and view sleeping areas and to assure that the home continues to meet licensing standards and to identify any areas of health or safety concerns and suggest corrective measures that need to take place.  The SW will also discuss with you any questions or concerns that you may have.

When the re-licensing process is completed a new license will be issued if your home continues to meet regulatory requirements.  If your home was not in compliance with one or more requirements, a provisional licensed is issued to allow time to attain compliance.  You will be informed in writing about what is needed to come into compliance and receive a regular license.  A provisional license can be issued for up to 60 days and can only be extended upon approval of the Director of Foster Care.


Subsidized Guardianship Approval Checklist (Forms and Documents to be included in packet)


Copy of Birth Certificate

Copy of Social Security Card
DCF-2051-G Subsidized Guardianship Approval Checklist
DCF-2101 Medically Complex Certification form signed and checked as certified by child's physician (if applicable)
DCF-2158 Assessment of Child and Family for Subsidized Guardianship
DCF-2159 Application for Guardianship Subsidy (including approved Exceptional Expense Subsidy)
DCF-418-IG Initial Agreement for a Guardianship Subsidy
TITLE IV-E Guardianship Subsidy Application
JD-JM-31 Copy of TPR order
JD-JM-58 Copy of OTC order
JD-JM-65 Copy of Adjudicatory/Dispositional Orders (Commitment and Extension of Commitment, etc.)
MA-1 Medical Assistance Form
REU emails from Revenue Enhancement regarding IV-E status and Social Security benefits status prior to Transfer of Guardianship





Subsidized Adoption

Providing Permanency For Special Needs Children In Connecticut
The subsidized adoption program was created to facilitate the adoption of children both in DCF care and in the care of private Connecticut licensed child-placing agencies who have special needs. Subsidized guardianship achieves permanency for children who might otherwise remain in foster care.  The majority of children placed by DCF for adoption receive some kind of adoption subsidy benefit (CT Gen. Stat. 17a-117).

Who Is Eligible For the Subsidized Adoption Program?
A special needs child is eligible for the Subsidized Adoption program when:

  • The adopting family meets the guidelines for any other adopting family; and
  • The child meets the “special needs child” definition; and
  • The child has established significant emotional ties with prospective parents while in their care as a foster child; or
  • The child cannot be placed in adoption through existing resources after all reasonable efforts have been made consistent with the best interests of the child.

Who qualifies as a “Special Needs” child?
A “special needs” child is defined as a child who is difficult to place in an adoptive home because of one or more of the following conditions:

  • Physical or mental disability.
  • Serious emotional maladjustment.
  • A recognized high risk of physical or mental disability.
  • Over age eight (8) which presents a barrier to adoption.
  • Over the age of two (2) and has racial or ethnic factors which present a barrier to adoption.
  • Is a member of a sibling group that should be placed together.
  • Has been certified as a special needs child by the Department.

What determines the amount, type, and length of adoption subsidy granted?

  • The child shall be the primary focus in the determination of the adoption assistance payment. The subsidy shall be based on the special needs of the child. See DCF Policy 48-18-5 for actual current subsidized adoption rates available to families caring for special needs children.  
  • Some children may be eligible for a medically complex rate - see DCF Policy 48-18-5 for more information.
  • If the child is eligible to receive S.S.I. payments, the family income will be taken into account after finalization in determining the amount of the S.S.I. payment.
  • The child may receive a periodic (monthly) subsidy and/or lump sum payment only up to the child’s eighteenth (18) birthday.
  • The medical subsidy may continue until age twenty-one (21) only when the child is a resident of Connecticut. The medical subsidy provides for payment to medical vendors who are participating members in the state Medicaid program in accordance with established fee schedules.  The medical subsidy covers only those medical services approved for inclusion within the Medicaid Program by the Department of Social Services.
  • Any child adopted from DCF foster care after December 31, 2004 is eligible to apply for the college tuition/post secondary education reimbursement program. See the “Post Adoption Services” section of this website for more details.

Medical Expense Subsidy
The one hundred percent (100%) Medical Expense Subsidy is based on a determination during the adoption process or subsequent to adoption that a specific condition existed prior to the adoption and requires current medical care and treatment. This program will be operated and funded in accordance with the fiscal, policy and procedural guidelines of the state Medicaid program.  This program includes payments for medical services not paid for by the Department of Social Services which are related to the handicapping condition for which the child was defined as a special needs child.

Reimbursement of Non-Recurring Adoption Expenses
DCF will reimburse those families adopting special needs children for up to $750 of their adoption related expenses that are directly related to the adoption.

Request for Subsidy After Finalization
Adoptive parents may find it necessary to request a subsidy after the adoption has been finalized. Once the “Application for an Adoption Subsidy after Finalization” is filed with all the supporting documentation, a subsidy 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.

Post–Finalization Activities: Subsidized Adoption
Once a subsidized adoption has been finalized, the Subsidized Adoption Unit assumes responsibility for the ongoing maintenance of the adoption subsidy. The unit carries out the following duties:

  • Conducting a biannual review of each subsidy;
  • Determining whether a subsidy should continue, be modified, or be terminated;
  • Assisting in the location of lost or delayed “subsidized adoption” checks; and
  • Processing subsidies which are requested after an adoption has been finalized.


Adoption Subsidy Review Board

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 thirty days prior to the termination or reduction, and the subsidy shall continue without modification until the final decision of the Board.


Subsidized Guardianship

What is the subsidized guardianship program?
This program is intended to provide a permanent plan for children in the care and custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) who are placed by DCF with their licensed relative caregivers and who cannot return home due either to the death of a parent or the inability to provide a home within the foreseeable future. The child(ren) must have resided with their relative caretaker for at least 6 months. A thorough assessment of the child’s placement will be completed by DCF prior to recommending the transfer of guardianship to the relative. The subsidized guardianship program will then provide the relative caretaker with a monthly board and care payment equal to the prevailing foster care rate (minus any income the child has, such as social security) plus medical coverage in the state Medicaid HMO program. 

(Public Acts 97-272, Sec. 7 and 05-254-eff. 10-1-05).  This program was authorized by the Connecticut legislature in September of 1998. This program recognizes the importance of financially supporting relative caretakers of children in DCF care who are willing to assume the legal guardianship of the children in their care.

What are the details of the program?
In Connecticut the subsidized guardianship program is initiated by a relative caretaker in conjunction with the local area office DCF social worker. Once the caretaker indicates an interest in the guardianship program, the DCF worker will assess the relative placement in terms of whether or not this is a viable permanent plan for the child and make a recommendation as to the advisability of transferring the guardianship to the relative caretaker. If transferring the guardianship is deemed to be in the best interest of the child, the social worker will then file a Motion to Revoke/Transfer Custody of the child/children with the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. The motion is then reviewed by a Judge who can authorize the transfer of guardianship to the proposed relative caregiver.

Once guardianship is granted, an application is made by the relative caregiver to the Department for a subsidy. A financial and medical subsidy may be authorized, based on the child’s financial needs. The case is closed at this point for DCF casework services but the financial and medical subsidy case only is then maintained and managed in DCF’s Central Office by the Subsidy Unit, 505 Hudson St., Hartford, CT 06106.

Relative guardians also may be eligible for a one-time exceptional expense payment of no more than $500 per child for expenses incurred by the family in the transfer of custody process. There are no additional payments for daycare, clothing, or other services that may have been paid under foster care.

The child is eligible for the subsidized guardianship program until he/she reaches eighteen (18) years of age or twenty-one (21) years of age if the child is in continuous full-time attendance at a secondary school, technical school or college or is in a state-accredited job-training program.

Please note: A “relative” or “related" person means an adult who is related by blood, marriage, or adoption descended from a common ancestor not more than three generations removed (from the child).

The Department conducts an annual review of each guardianship subsidy to determine if the subsidy shall continue, be modified, or be terminated. Annually, a subsidized guardian must submit a sworn statement to the Department that the child is still living with the guardian and receiving financial support from the guardian. A subsidized guardian may request a subsidy hearing when he/she disagrees with the Department’s proposal to modify or terminate a guardianship subsidy.


Give the Gift of Adoption!

The Department of Children and Families wants to let Connecticut families know there are children right here in our state who need families to call their own for a lifetime.  Did you know that over 500 children are adopted from the Connecticut foster care system every year?  Adopting through DCF is a wonderful way to build your family and create a lifelong relationship with a child.


The months of November and December are spent preparing for holidays and enjoying the anticipation of a New Year beginning.  Families gather round and reflect back on the year ending; and look forward to what may occur next.  They eagerly anticipate the reactions of their loved ones, when they hand out their expressly selected presents.  In this season of reflection and thankfulness, families count their blessings and children look forward to the fun and festivities to come. 


Children in DCF’s care have much of the same desires and aspirations as any other child; however, their most fervent wish is a gift which cannot be purchased at any store.  What is the biggest gift a child could have that does not cost a dime?  What would make them sigh into a blissful, contented sleep at night?  What could possibly make a teenager put down the electronic devices and choose to be part of hearth and home? 


The answer is simple……actually having a home and family where they can enjoy the feeling of connectedness, and belief in the knowledge they will belong somewhere for a lifetime.  The gift of belonging in a family, who will stand by them through life’s up and downs, will provide them the nest from which they can venture out into the world and spread their wings.  Adopting a child or sibling group through DCF is a lifetime gift for both them and your family. 


When one usually thinks about adoption, visions of babies and nurseries most often come to mind.  However; adopting from the state foster care system is one possible way to create - or enrich - your family.  DCF is always seeking adoptive families to parent children from all backgrounds, and of every age.  We are especially in need of families who can care for sibling groups, teenagers and children with complex medical needs. 


As we are all preparing to gather those we love around us for the holiday season, there are children in Connecticut grappling with the thought they will not be with their own brothers or sisters today, tomorrow or sometimes forever.  Separating siblings is never something DCF wants to do, but the lack of families who can care for multiple children is a reality.  Taking in siblings and creating an “instant family” is a large undertaking; however, it is incredibly wonderful to be able to maintain the close connection brothers and sisters share.   


Have your children all moved on to their own lives, leaving you missing the happy chaos of parenting?  Think about opening your home and heart to an older youth who needs a loving family to help them become a successful adult.  Teens are often forgotten when a family thinks about adoption.  They may only need to live in your home for a short time before they move on and become independent; but they need a family for a lifetime.


When thinking about adopting children with complex medical needs, some believe you are required to have a medical background.  Certainly, children with these challenges require a different level of parenting, but families are given specific training and are provided all the information they need to learn about the medical concerns and to prepare for becoming parents.  Supports are in place to assure the overall well being of the family.


Many might think you need to own a home, be married, have already parented, or have a medical background to become an adoptive parent; but none of that is true.  The process is free and only “costs” your time and commitment.  DCF provides training and support throughout the process.  Upon placement into your home you receive a medical and financial subsidy and most children are eligible for this subsidy to continue after the finalization of the adoption, until young adulthood.  Support services are also available through DCF Voluntary Services and the Adoption Assistance program.  DCF also offers college financial assistance. 


The children highlighted on our Heart Gallery website represent the many children in need of families who will come forward to claim them as their own.  You can read all about these and other children by going to our website:  http://www.portal.ct.gov/DCF/CTFosterAdopt/Heart-Gallery.  Some children are ready to walk into their adoptive families’ homes right now and still others need families to come forward and commit to them while the legal work is completed. 


You are only a phone call away from starting the process to make a positive change in the life of a child and your family forever.  There is no need to go overseas; or even out of state, to adopt.  There are children right in your own backyard who need you.


Learn more about how you can become a foster or adoptive parent through DCF by calling 1-888-KID-HERO or e-mail:  KidHero@cafafct.org



Behavioral Health Services (BHP) for DCF Children in Foster Care

The Connecticut Behavioral Health Partnership (CT BHP) is a program that will improve the behavioral health care for children and families who are enrolled HUSKY A and HUSKY B Programs as well as providing some limited services for children enrolled in DCF Voluntary services.

DCF and DSS contracted with Beacon Health to be the Administrative Services Organization (ASO) for the CT BHP.  An ASO is an organization with special expertise in behavioral health service management that can authorize and monitor various types and levels of care, track payment and collect data on consumers and providers who are enrolled in the CT BHP.

CT BHP is not a provider of behavioral health services, but rather a tool for management of behavioral health care for HUSKY members.

DCF kids who are HUSKY members and have behavioral health needs are eligible for services such as outpatient therapy, inpatient psychiatric hospital, home-based therapies such as IICAPS.  CT BHP is contacted by providers to assess the child's clinical need and authorize the appropriate level of care to meet the child's needs in the least restrictive setting.

Foster Care Disruption Pilot Project - CT BHP gets intensively involved with children who are in first time foster placement.  Currently piloted at the following area offices:  Hartford, New Britain, Norwich, Waterbury, and Manchester.  CT BHP Intensive Care Managers work with staff at the area office to coordinate about getting kids into behavioral health treatment if they need it. CT BHP Peer Specialists work with the foster parents to help them navigate the system and provide support to keep the placement intact.

  • Intensive Care Managers (ICM) - behavioral health clinicians that work with the most complex behavioral health issues.   Coordinate with providers and DCF to help connect to care
  • Peer Specialists - CT BHP staff that have experienced behavioral health issues themselves or in family members.  Work directly with families to provide support

*The services of Intensive Care Managers and Peer Specialists are not just available to those children eligible for the pilot project.  Any child that has HUSKY and therefore has behavioral health benefits through the CT BHP is able to have the services of the ICM or peer specialist.  The child's therapist/counselor, parent, guardian, DCF worker, foster care worker can call the CT BHP and make a request. 

Telephone 1-877-552-8247   www.ctbhp.com/


Contact Us

The first step in becoming a licensed foster or adoptive parent is to call 1-888-KID-HERO e-mail:  KidHero@cafafct.org

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