I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
The Home Study
March 7, 2018
For many adoptive families, the home study process can be a stressful step toward bringing home their child. There are many questions and concerns around what is expected and what the caseworker is looking for when they show up for a home study or interview.
In Parent to Parent: The Home Study, and article in Adoptive Families Magazine, several parents provide helpful tips and reminders. In this blog, I hope to expand upon those tips from a social worker's point of view.
First (and I can write this from personal experience) the caseworker is not out to get you. Feel free to relax. Caseworkers do not go into a prospective adoptive family's home looking for ways to "bust" them or otherwise uncover reasons to disqualify them. Caseworkers are looking for a safe, healthy and happy home for an adoptive child. Before a home study, take a break from cleaning those corners of your house that you have not touched since you first moved in and take a breath. Focus on that child in your future (even if you do not know them yet) and how excited you are about them joining your family. I assure you that the caseworker is also focused on that child and they are on your team!
Be Honest. No one is perfect. Caseworkers know that, and they are understanding if there is something in your past that you may not be proud of. The important thing is to be honest. If you have a DUI on your record or another criminal charge from years ago, be straight forward and honest about it. In addition, be prepared to explain to the caseworker how that charge has impacted your life, and how you have worked to ensure that you do not end up in the same situation again. The caseworker's job is to determine that an adoptive child will be safe and stable with their adoptive family, so being transparent about your past and being able to discuss how you will keep a child safe is vital.
Ask Questions. In most cases, caseworkers have a plethora of resources and tools that could help you in your adoption journey. Whether you are exploring adoption for the first time or the tenth, your caseworker can give you the most updated information and answers. And if they cannot, they can most likely point you in the direction of someone who can.
Home studies can be intimidating, especially if you have never been a part of one before. Remember that caseworkers that you are working with are on your team! You are never alone.