Adoption

What surprised you during your Home Study...

What did you not know about going into your home study? What changes did they ask you to make that maybe surprised you?

 Were you told to lock up cleaning chemicals? 

 Anything you found odd or different?

 I'd love to hear about your experiences and what you took from it.

Thanks,
Jamie

 

Re: What surprised you during your Home Study...

  • SpookoSpooko
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    It was straightforward and easy and really nothing to stress about.

  • Ours was for DIA so I'm sure those who were planning to foster had to have more baby-proofing completed before the home visit. We obviously scrubbed and organized our apartment from top to bottom but I was surprised at how laid-back our social worker was and how little she focused on our home. There was no talk of locking up cleaning supplies/medications (though obviously that will be done by the time we bring a child home) and she didn't even care that the wall was not yet up to make the room for our nursery. I was more surprised by some of the discussion topics. There was a lot of talk about our childhoods, my parents' divorce, whether I would rather parent a child like myself or my sister, discipline, how we've dealt with infertility, etc. We knew our childhoods would be brought up at some point but we were a little surprised at how much time was spent discussing our family relationships and our own parents' parenting techniques.
  • We went into it pretty prepared. DH was most concerned about how invasive the HS would be, so he spent a good hour on the phone with our SW, who walked us through the process. By the time we got to it, we were good :)

    No, we weren't told to lock up cleaning chemicals.

    I was surprised that the safety stuff wasn't really emphasized. Our SW had never heard of a fire escape ladder, and we had 2!

    It was really pretty easy. Most of the meetings we had pre-walkthrough were stuff based on our autobiography. The actual walkthrough was 45 minutes, and kind of fun.

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  • How little she cared about minor house issues (I was terrified that she would not be OK with our deck, which is about 18" off the ground w no railing - she barely glanced at it).

    Other than that, there were no surprises!

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  • How easy it was! We are doing DIA through an agency. Our SW barely looked at our house and basically just asked us questions about our childhoods. It was easy peasy.
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  • From what I can tell, it's really only in foster home studies that they address things like locking up medicines and the storage of dangerous substances/chemicals.

    Like all the rest, I was stunned at how little of the 4-visit home study was about the house, and how much was about us, our families, our relationsp, our community and support network, how we planned to parent, etc. 

  • We had a DIA home study and did need to put away all meds/chemicals. And the SW checked. : But I asked ahead of time what safety stuff needed to be done, and that helped. We also needed baby gates and screens in the nursery windows old house here, probably no big deal for other people. We also had to make sure they opened. We needed a written evacuation plan and had to have emergency numbers posted. To pass the separate fire inspection, we had a whole list of things.
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  • Ours was for fostering, but I agree with previous posters. I was amazed at how easy it was. She pointed out a few things we needed to change for our fire inspection and we talked about our animals a lot (but we foster those as well and she needed all that info).

    All of our chemicals are in an outside storage unit. I thought she was going to tell us we needed a lock for it, but instead she said "I'll let you be the gauge of if that's necessary depending on the kids that are in your house." So other than a locked cabinet for medicine, we really didn't have to do much. 

  • Homestudy for fostering was more rigorous as far as having certain things in place (medication LOCKED, chemicals put out of reach, fire escape plan written and posted on fridge, having a working landline phone, etc) but as far as cleaning or them looking around house, not too bad.

    Homestudy for DIA was less rigorous, a quick walk through and the case worker going over a list of suggestions for baby proofing/safety once child is here. We didn't have to have things in place like we did for fostering.

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  • For DIA we so over prepared!  She didn't take note of smoke detectors, didn't look for a fire extinguisher.  She spent maybe 3 minutes walking through the house.  I had scrubbed every inch of the place!
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  • We scrubbed every inch of the house, and she really didn't look at much. She only checked to see about smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and the safety of our pool. After seeing everything was safe, she just wanted to get to know us and our daughter better.
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  • I was surprised when we realized we could have said anything to the SW and she wouldn't verify. Ours wasn't particularly great (botched forms, misspelled words on them, unable to efficiently use email, and wildly uneducated about Russian adoptions).

    But she just wasn't good at her job. She was still working on her job like it was 20 years ago and she didn't seem willing to look into facts. Or even spellcheck her final report! We had to return it several times just to have things done right.

    My advice is to educate yourself and be sure to follow up that things are done right.

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  • Wow Ladies... Thanks for sharing.  I'm feeling like maybe I don't need to get out knee pads and scrub the house tomorrow now :)
  • My social worker prepared me for what she would be looking for.  Chemicals and meds needed to be locked up, needed to have working smoke detectors in bedrooms, needed a fire extinguisher (commercial, not those tiny little ones), emergency exit route from each room in the house posted on fridge, land line phone, dog registration and proof of shots, car insurance proof and registration, and also checked to see air condition in car worked ( I live in AZ where summers are regularly 115-120 degrees), temp of hot water heater must be regulated to avoid scalds, they also checked temp of fridge, and alcohol had to be locked up too. I thought it was very thorough, but I was well prepared for it all since my SW gave me a check list. Surprisingly they didn't care how clean my house was, just that there were no hazards and all.
  • Our foster home study was super involved. They have a list of a ton of "baby proofing" type things that had to be done. They were obvious ones like covering outlets and having gates for stairs, but also how many and where smoke alarms were, fire extinguishers, furniture bolted to the walls, tvs strapped to furniture, emergency ladders, blind and curtain cords had to be secured carefully, we needed a locked safe for meds and a locked cabinet, not just a high one, for chemicals, etc etc etc.

    Then we had the walk through and they barely glanced.

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  • I haven't had my home study yet, but during our IA course it was talked about and they said that the cleanliness of the house was the least of their concerns.  They even said that if the house was not super clean, it actually might look better for you because it means you can handle the mess of a child!  Obviously not like unhealthily messy, but just normal clutter and living mess.  I have no idea about the safety stuff, but they did also mention that the reason for the home study is to see you in person and talk to you in person about your life and reasons for adopting, child rearing plans, etc, etc... and if you have other kids they talk to your kids too.  So what I took from that was that it was more to see you in your home on your turf rather then go over your house with a fine tooth comb. 

    This was for international adoption via my province though.  It would be different province to province and state to state I would assume, as well as type of adoption.

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