Are you nervous about your home study to become a foster parent? Review this list of Foster Care Home Study Questions to know what to expect and find other Tips for Foster Parents.
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Foster Care Home Study Questions
A foster care home study is designed to give the home study writer, foster care agency and the court a clear and accurate picture of you personally and your family. The questions asked are likely to feel a bit intrusive, so it is best to prepare yourself for the interview.
Where will the Home Study Interview be Conducted?
Many times, the interview will be conducted in the prospective foster home. This is sometimes the first visit to the home so, you should make sure your home is as ready as possible to receive a foster child. You can find a Foster Home Safety Checklist here along with many items you may need to secure your home for a foster child. I also recommend signing up for Amazon Prime in order to get any requested items in place quickly and cost effectively.
How will the home study questions be asked?
Different agencies do things differently. Some agencies will give prospective foster parents a list of questions to review ahead of time. Some will ask parents to complete the questions in a written format or to complete a written autobiography for a home study. (You can sign up for my free Home Study Auto Biography Bootcamp below and complete your autobiography in two weeks in daily bite sized chunks!) Other agencies will rely solely on an in person interview question format. Still others will do a combination of the two by giving the parents a list of questions to answer in a written form and then ask addition questions in an interview style.
Will I know the home study questions ahead of time?
Not every agency gives a list of questions before the interview. Sometimes the home study writer is looking for your spontaneous response and even the responses of spouses together.
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What questions should I be prepared for?
Here is a list of typical questions asked in a foster care home study interview along with why the questions may be asked and what the interviewer may be looking for:
A home study writer/interviewer will ask you personal questions because they are trying to get to know you. They want to find out what qualities you bring to the table as a potential foster parent and also identify any specific challenges you might face.
- How would you describe yourself?
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you enjoy your work?
- What are some of your hobbies?
- How would you describe your personality?
- How would you describe your marriage and how your relationship is with your significant other.
Home Study Questions About Your Past
These are a great questions for an interviewer to ask. It will tell them what you might see as “normal” or “typical” for home behavior. It may also tell them if you had any childhood trauma that may either effect your parenting or uniquely qualify you to handle children from certain situations.
- What was you family like growing up?
- What did you think of your parents?
- What are your best and worst childhood memories?
- What is your relationship with your parents?
- How would you describe their parenting style?
- How do you think your upbringing has shaped you?
Home Study Questions About Your Current Situation
These questions tell the interviewer about your life now. These questions will allow the interviewer to learn about your relationships with current family members and children and predict the type of relationship you might have with a foster child. Questions about discipline and educational philosophy also tell the interviewer what training you might need to deal with the special needs of foster children and training to adhere to the rules for fostering children.
- Are you married, if so, how long?
- How do you and your partner deal with problems in your relationship?
- Do you have other children?
- How would you characterize your relationship with your children?
- What are your biggest parenting struggles?
- What is your philosophy of discipline?
- What is your philosophy of education for children?
- Where do your children go to school?
- What are your concerns and fears about parenting foster or adopted children?
- What are your future goals and dreams for your family and your personal goals?
- Why do have you chosen to become a foster parent? Why would you want to be an adoptive parent?
Home Study Questions About Your Support System and Community
Being a foster parent is no easy task. You will need a strong and solid support system. Questions about your community and support system allow the interviewer to evaluate those two to understand what additional support you might need.
- Are you active in your community? If so, how?
- Do you consider your community a safe place to live?
- Is your community supportive of foster and adopted children?
- Is your extended family and support system supportive of your choice to foster or adopt?
- Who is included in your support system?
- What resources are available in your community to assist parents of children with special needs?
- What activities are available to children in your community?
The Practical Questions
The practical questions are just that, practical. They will tell the interviewer if you are healthy enough and have a stable enough life both financially and legally to provide foster care.
- How is your health?
- Does your family have any history of chronic illness?
- How is your job security?
- Can you provide for a child financially?
- Do you have any criminal record?
- What is your plan for school?
Foster Care and Adoption Specific Questions
Foster care and adoption specific questions tell the interviewer about your goals for fostering or fostering to adopt. They also identify areas where you may need some training and education before foster care placement.
- Why do you want to foster or adopt?
- What do you think your parenting style will be like?
- How well do you understand the foster care and adoption process?
- What do you know about some of the unique challenges faced by children who come into and are adopted through the foster care system?
- What are your hopes for a child you would foster and/or adopt?
How should I prepare for a foster care home study interview?
Preparing for the home study interview should be a process you and your partner undertake together. Here are a few ideas to help you:
- Read the list of questions provided by your agency and discuss your answers.
- Practice answering the questions out loud.
- Write down your answers and share with your partner. Then, talk about them at a later time.
- Ask someone in your support system how they would answer the questions on your behalf. Talk about their answers with your spouse.