You’ve made the decision to become a foster parent—congratulations! When you're done with training, the next step is typically your home study. Don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your home study so you can be ready and confident when the time comes.
1. Gather Required Documents
The first step in preparing for your home study is to collect all of the necessary documents and paperwork that will be required during the assessment process. Much of this documentation will likely be gathered in earlier stages of the licensing process. Still, it's a good idea to have core personal records on hand for your home study in case questions related to them come up. These documents may include identification (e.g., driver's license), proof of residence, medical records, background checks, financial records, educational records, employment records, marriage certificates, divorce papers (if applicable), and references from family and friends.
2. Understand What Will Be Covered During Your Home Study
Your home study should be an open dialogue with your social worker about what it takes to become a foster parent. They will want to get to know you better so they can make sure you are well-equipped for fostering. Social workers may ask you a wide range of personal questions to get to know you and your household. Some examples include:
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3. Create a Safe Environment
Your social worker will also be looking at your living environment during their visit for any potential safety concerns—so it pays off to make sure everything is in order before your home study! Your agency may provide you with a checklist that you should go through. However, generally you should:
Preparing for your foster care home study doesn't have to be intimidating; just remember these three simple tips and you'll be ready when they come knocking at your door! With proper documentation ready ahead of time, an understanding of what topics might come up during the assessment process and making sure you have created a safe environment for children—you'll be well prepared for success! Good luck!
I'm a foster mom, bio mom, working mom, special needs mom, busy mom. I'm also married to my high school sweetheart, I'm a proud 23-year childhood cancer survivor, and I'm passionate about serving my community.
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