What does Home Study mean and what happens at a visit? Here’s a little Adoption lingo lesson for everyone. The entire process of learning about us which includes interviews, biographies, classes, quizzes, evaluations, photo collages, and finally a visit to our home is termed the Home Study process. Once all that information is collected our Social Worker writes that into a summary (also referred to as the Home Study) which will be sent to the Social Workers of prospective placements, placements = kid(s). Today we completed the Home Visit which is a BIG milestone in the process.
As for what happens at the visit, it’s a lot like a home inspection when you buy a house. It’s a long check list of things that have to be in place and instead of hoping for minor issues you can use to lower the price, you’re praying it comes back clean. The list of what they are looking for is a long one…4 pages front and back in the form of a check list to be exact. Some are super obvious like sanitary conditions (think Hoarders) and smoke detectors. Others are a bit more of a pain but make sense for safety. These are things like locking all alcohol, medications, and cleaning supplies. You also need to make sure there are single strands for the window blind pulls which I’m SO thankful our new house already had! We also needed to have basic child proofing done like outlet covers, drawer locks, and door handle things for places like my craft room and the bar.
Even though we know our Social Worker pretty well by now it can’t help but be a little awkward to invite anyone into your home and invite them to have fair game to walk around and open anything they want. The whole process took just over 3 hours. The great news was that we only had to quickly write the number to poison control on the front page of our first aid book and fridge as well as agree to buy waterproof sheets for the crib mattress and guest bed. Done and super easy to be Done! Even Tucker was on his best behaviour and passed the test as being a "safe pet".
Now for the BIG question…what happens next? Now our Social Worker has to take all this information back and write it all up. Once that’s done she will present the full study to the board of our Agency and have us read through and approve. Then the whole kit and caboodle is shipped off to Snohomish County to approve our Foster License. The bottom line is our Social Worker thinks we’ll have that License in our hands 5-7 weeks from today.
The next biggest question is how long will it be once we’re licensed? No one has the answer to this but we did find out there is a big need in Snohomish County with a strong preference for families who live in the county. Currently we will be the ONLY family our agency is working with that lives up North so she thought we would have a placement quite fast. She said they are even able to push the licensing process up a bit if the “perfect” match comes in before we’re official. The county is willing to pull some strings to do what is in the best interest of the child but this is of course an extreme scenario.
That’s all I know for now. While they are writing up the bible of SarahJay we are working on all those little things like a fire escape plan, finding a Head Start program nearby “just in case”, and the final touches on our photo collage.