Speed up the foster care home study process or the home study for an adoption by doing these 10 things. Have your home ready for your home visit and your paperwork in order faster to become a foster parent or an adoptive parent.
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Before you even officially begin the home study process, you assure that your foster parent training and home visits will go as smoothly as possible by making sure you, the other adults in your home, and any other children in your home are in agreement about opening your home for foster care.
7 Ways to Speed Up the Foster Care Home Study Process
Schedule Medical Physicals
Most home studies require that everyone living in the home have a physical examination performed by a doctor. Depending on your doctor, this may require testing in addition to the initial visit. Physical appointments often take longer and are more difficult to schedule than a sick visit. It is best to get these visits scheduled when you first begin your home study or even before.
Pet Vaccination Records
All pets in the home must have up to date vaccination records. Appointments with the vet are not as difficult to schedule as a physical appointment with your doctor, but the vet expenses are often more than those of a doctors visit. Visits to the vet also require a bit more planning since you are transporting an animal who cannot accompany you to work or on other errands.
Fire Escape Plan
Every home is required to have a fire escape diagram and plan posted in the home. Multiple routes of escape should be noted from each room. Having this completed ahead of time is one small step that can speed up the home study process. You will also need a working fire extinguisher in your home, and smoke detectors in every room.
Write Your Biography
Gathering information about you, your family and your home to present to potential adoptive parents or to placement workers is a major part of the home study process. You will be asked to write a biography or at least answer questions so your social worker can prepare a biography about you. Having this biography pre-written can save both you and your case worker a great deal of time.
You can write the biography on your own by signing up for the free Home Study Biography Bootcamp below. You will receive an email every 3 days with ideas for completing each section of a biography template that you can hand over to your case worker or adoption coordinator.
Remove Safety Hazards
Part of the home study process is making sure your home is safe for a child. You can expedite the process by making sure your home is clear of safety hazards and that you have proper safety precautions in place. You can use the home safety checklist found here to make sure your home meets the safety requirements for a foster care home study.
Collect Your Documents
Collecting all of the documentation required for a foster care or adoption home study can be a lengthy process. Getting a head start can save lots of time. Use this home study checklist to make sure you have all of the documents you need or at least know the documents you need to get new copies of.
Coordinate Reference Letters
Most home studies will require at least three reference letters from people who have know you for an extended time. You may not be able to collect these letters ahead of time. Most agencies have a process and a form letter of their own with specific questions for the person providing the reference. You can however, prep the person whom you intend to ask for a reference. You can explain what you are doing and how important their reference is to you and your home study process. Then, when they receive the request, they can be prepared to return it quickly.