Homestudy~ Home Visit Experiences — The Bump
Adoption

Homestudy~ Home Visit Experiences

This is all happening really fast for us so I'm sort of overwhelmed and really excited at the same time.  At Christmas we made the decision about which agency to go with.  In the past month we have completed our pre-ap, application and started our homestudy paperwork, getting fingerprinted, background study etc.  On Feb. 11 we have our orientation/training all day workshop.  On the 16th is our first visit with our social worker at her office.  On Feb. 20th is our home visit.  I asked her what we should be prepared for and she keeps playing it down saying the home visit is no big deal, she is just checking to see that we have adequate space for a child and that there are no safety concerns.  She says not to worry and that most people pass it without a problem.  But I'm freaking out about all the things I need to do around the house.  She said we don't need any baby stuff, which is weird because I have a friend that says they had to have a crib in the baby room for their visit.  Can you all share your experiences?  I know each state is different (we're Minnesota) but what type of safety things are they looking for?  What else should I do to prepare besides a good house cleaning? 

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Re: Homestudy~ Home Visit Experiences

  • It was a lot less stressful than I once thought.  She spent no more than 10 seconds in each room.  We had to have smoke detectors in every bedroom, and one on each floor.  We had to have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and on each floor.  We also had to show her that cleaning products and alcohol were out of a child's reach.  

    Before she came over, she reminded us that she was not there for a "white glove inspection."       It wasn't bad at all.

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  • Our SW was here for about 2 hours.  She met with the two of us together, just verifying information on our application.  Then she met with each of us individually, verifying info on our personal parts of the application.  She did ask us about child care, our family makeup, how we plan to discipline, etc. but that was info we had discussed and recorded on our app.  She spent no time at all walking through the house & didn't even look in DH's office because I told her it was a disaster.  She looked at the backyard as well and asked during our discussions if we had firearms in the house, a pool and/or trampoline.

    I cleaned but not deep cleaning, bought a fire extinguisher, tested the smoke detectors, baked brownies, had plenty to drink on hand, and walked the dogs/crated them before she arrived.  She didn't check any of it, didn't eat/drink a thing, and was excited to meet & play with the dogs.  

    It was really no big deal and I'm glad I didn't get overly worked up about it.  The best advice I could give - discuss everything on your application, be open & honest, be yourselves, and just open up your home like you would with any guest.  GL!

    Todd & Kristin, 3.10.07

    After 5.5 years of loss, heartbreak, and empty arms, our dreams were fulfilled through the beautiful, selfless gift of adoption. We are amazingly blessed!

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  • She mostly sat with us in our living room and asked questions about our house and the neighborhood.  We showed her around and she barely peeked in the rooms.  We definitely didn't need anything for the baby's room at that point.  We didn't have to have anything baby-proofed at that time - we were adopting a newborn and our caseworker said it wasn't necessary to do that ahead of time.

    I would just clean up, make sure there aren't any major safety concerns, and maybe bake some cookies or brownies and make coffee.  The house will smell good!  And try to not to stress too much!  :)

     

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  • Listen to your SW. It's truly not a big deal. Our experience:

    We cleaned like fiends for a week or 2 before. I was OOT for work leading up to our home visit, so DH was cleaning, and steam cleaning, and dusting, and doing things we'd never done before to have a clean house. The day of the visit, our SW came with one of the agency's new hires. They walked through the house, asked about square footage, # of bedrooms/bathrooms, and how many smoke detectors we had. DH showed off our fire extinguishers and fire escape ladders, and our SW was impressed (but they weren't required). We showed her where we planned to have the baby's room. We sat at our dining room table and talked about our house, our neighborhood, and what our town was like. We chatted for a bit, and she left. It took maybe 45 minutes.

    If your SW says you don't need baby stuff, don't stress about it. If you want to start getting stuff, no one's stopping you.

    You'll be fine. You'll likely be overprepared. Which is totally understandable. Just be yourself. GL!

  • I've had two walk-throughs -- one planned, one unplanned. The planned one I spent weeks cleaning like mad. I was completely worried about it and convinced I had missed something, and we weren't going to "pass." She basically walked through and did what everyone else said. It was nice having a really clean house but so not necessary. The second one we had about an hours' warning for, so I called DH to ask him to do the dishes. That was the extent of our planning. This one was through the state, so they checked a few more things: we had to have a fire extinguisher; she checked to see that we had running (hot) water, and had me flush the toilet. She made sure we had a bed ready (but that was because we were taking a placement that night). She saw DH's knife on his belt and asked if we had anymore weapons in the house. We said we had some more pocket knives, and she just said "Okay, as long as they're up." Then we finished up paperwork. So even the more in-depth home visit was nothing to worry about. I'm not sure if we will need beds ready when we get ready to take babies/toddlers, but if your SW didn't say you do then it's probably not necessary. Good luck! As everyone has said, it's not nearly as big a deal as we all expect!
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  • Our home visit was totally low key. SW checked for (a) space in the house for a child, (b) fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, (c) and did our final interview with us. Really, no big deal. If your SW is playing it down, it really isn't going to be anything much. Relax and know you are almost finished!
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  • were in MN too! our homestudy was soooo easy, he hardly looked at anything and just asked us questions about our family, our plans for discipline, and things like that. he checked to see how big the baby's room would be and if we had smoke and CO2 montiors in our house that worked. try not to worry too much, this is the easy part!
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  • The home study inspection was a lot less detailed than I expected.  All they wanted to see is that the house is in good repair, no safety concerns, smoke alarms in every bedroom and every level of the house, a fire extinguisher, and all meds, chemicals and toxins locked up.  Other than that they don't go thru with a white glove or anything.
  • This seems to vary by state so listen to the mn folks.  In Texas, my home visit was after my in office visit. It was verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry low key.  My SW said it was just a great way to validate her opinions she had already formed.  She did check for fire extinguisher and working smoke detectors.  In Texas, SW's do have to identify weapons and pools and if you have one, make sure there is a safety plan..  My SW was older and very wise. She basically thought the nursery and all of the child safety stuff was not necessary until it is necessary.  Many babies never have a nursery so she just wanted to know the plan. After she left, the joke was that the home visit is just to make sure my electricity was not coming from a 400 yard extension chord plugged into the street light.
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