Volume 3: Expansion and Update of the ACO Programs

Date: June 8, 2021 Author: Madison Lee Categories: AdoptOntario

Welcome to the third newsletter update on the Central Intake Process and the expansion of AdoptOntario database, known as Central Matching.

The Adoption Council of Ontario is providing a centralized service on behalf of the MCCSS. We want to create a system in a collaborative process so that the practices at ACO and AdoptOntario are a support to the field of public adoption. The ACO is facilitating this process and local societies will retain control over which families and children are matched as well as which families receive home studies and approval.  


As testing on our new site is winding down, we have set a go live date for our new professional siteOn July 31st, 2021, you can expect to login and see the new site. All existing accounts and data will be migrated to this site and there is nothing you need to do. You will receive an updated handbook in the week prior to our go live date. Along with that package you will be advised of dates for the training on the new site. Existing users will not be required to take the training however, they will be welcome to participate if they want. 

We have undertaken improvements to our databank. Once you login you will notice the cosmetic changes right away. The look and feel of the site is modern with a cleaner look.  We have updated our professional site to make the inputting of data easier. Permanency staff will register children and youth directly on the site which may be a new process for some of you. This approach will keep personal information more secure as opposed to the practice of sending registration forms to AdoptOntario coordinators via email. Email of personal information is not a secure way to share if it is not encrypted. Permanency staff will also be able to upload videos and photos easily to the new database. The new servers have expanded our capacity to accept files and make this process quicker.  We have undertaken updates on the “back end” of our service delivery as well so our coordinators will have an easier time tracking the children and youth that need a permanency family. 

We are updating the consent form to ensure it is compatible with requirements in the CYFSA Part X. Consent forms can be found on the new site, under forms and documents. Once signed, they should be uploaded to the young person’s registration, which is the most secure way to protect their privacy. During consultation with our partners it has been identified that it would be helpful to have materials available to them to guide their work with children and youth, to obtain consent and explain the work we do at AdoptOntario. We are creating some supporting materials and conversation guides for this purpose. We view these moves as preliminary steps towards a more child-centered approach. We will see more resources being developed in the year ahead.  

We have created a roll out and training schedule. Our training will be approximately 2 hours. It will involve a live presentation and the chance to interact with the new site, via our training site. We will send out materials to existing users to orient them to the new site prior to July 31st. During August, training will begin with the most frequent offerings occurring in September-October 2021. There will be additional offerings in November, December and January, depending on demand and need.  


As part of this expansion the ACO will provide a Central Intake Portal for prospective adoptive parents (PAPs). The vision is to create an adoption system that can provide better customer service, adoption preparation and awareness to PAPs. The Central Intake process includes providing consistent information, support and navigation to all prospective adoptive parentA Central Intake Portal will help provide families with dependable and accurate information about public adoption in Ontario as well as how to access private adoptions.   

We envision an intake service that can provide clear and professional information to prospective parents. We want to introduce the child-centred perspective from the beginning of the journey.  Public adoption seeks to find families for Ontario’s children and that as adults, it is up to us to understand and accommodate children’s needs. We already offer an inquiry and support line and will be expanding that capacity to support all those interested in public adoption across Ontario.  We are seeking advice and feedback from adoptive parents, adopted people and our CAS counterparts and will do so throughout the next year. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us at cimodernization.feedback@adoptontario.ca.   


At AdoptOntario we are committed to finding the right families for children and youth we serve. We recognize that a one size fits all approach does not work for the young people we meet; their circumstances are unique and their recruitment plans should also be unique. Our clinical coordinators love to take creative approaches to recruitment whether it’s hosting a how to adopt webinar for a community where a child lives or a resource family outreach. Coordinators have the knowledge and experience to help tailor a recruitment plan for your young person.   

Ware creating conversation guide for children and youth that social workers can use to prepare them to consent to working with AdoptOntario. You will be able to find that guide on our professional website under “forms and documents” beginning July 31st, 2021.  

ARE MAY 2021

We hosted the (virtual) ARE on May 28th & 29th, 2021. Our very own Dianne Mathes and Karen Moore offered training for professionals entitled “Having attuned conversations with children and youth about loss”. We hope to make this webinar available for future use as a way to help professionals in their work preparing young people for permanency

Do you have feedback or a question? We want to hear from youPlease email us at cimodernization.feedback@adoptontario.ca

Adoption Council of Ontario

The Adoption Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit providing outreach, support and education to all adoptees, adoptive parents, potential adoptive parents, birth families, and adoption professionals in Ontario. We deal with public adoption, private adoption, international adoption and relative adoption. Since 1987, we have been working towards a provincial community where all children have families forever.

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