Our home visit is coming up and I haven't seen any really good resource for what I should do to prepare. Do I need to post some kind of emergency exit plan? How much of a childproofing plan do we need to have? How much of my craft stuff do I need to move out of the future baby room at this stage? Do I need to hang my Carbon Monoxide detector on a wall or leave it on top of the armoire, where it's been for several years? Leave the blanket on the sofa (because of the dogs-it's easier to cover the furniture than keep them off) or take it off during the visit?
Surprisingly, I'm not concerned about things like deep, deep cleaning or alphabetizing the spice rack. It's all of the little details that I want to address before the visit.
Any tips? BTW, I'm in NC, if that makes a difference.
Reading your post reminded me of how nervous I was prior to my homestudy visit. I cleaned and cleaned (mostly out of nervousness). The social worker was so nice and likely didn't even notice how clean everything was.
I don't have a carbon monoxide detector but smoke detectors in the main rooms. I don't think she even looked at that given my house is newer. She did ask to see where the baby room would be although at that time it was my office and quite cluttered I might add.
I wouldn't sweat it because those things you are worried about probably won't be a concern to her (i.e. blanket on sofa because of dogs, etc). I wasn't asked about childproofing or evacuation plan but more general questions about my family, friends, role models, my views on methods of discipline, etc.
Try and relax because these social workers are there to help you start your adoption process. Mine was super laid back...good luck!
We just had our homestudy visit in mid October. The sw look around the house just like a guest would. She made sure we had smoke detectors and looked at the room we will use for the baby. I also have a dog and left the dog beds out and pulled the sheet off the sofa just before she got there. Nothing has to be baby proofed yet, our house certainly is not! Relax and remember that the sw and the agencies are supposed to be our advocates.
Don't worry about it. We showed our social worker the house and the only things she questioned were our smoke alarms and pool security.
Didn't even comment on my dedicated wine cellar, wine refrigerators or anything else. Never opened kitchen cupboards or suchlike. We showed the room that is going to be the nursery even though it is just a regular bedroom now. We let her meet our dog to show that she is a friendly soul. Just like showing a friend
All the SW really wanted to know was the amount of thought we'd put into adoption. Had we read/heard of problems and how would we deal with them. She wanted to know how and when we would handle telling our child about adoption. Discipline was another area that was covered. We're anti-smacking so that was not an issue for us. She asked about our experiences with our own families and what sort of things we did. She also asked us how our parents disciplined us too. Plus she asked us how we resolved problems in our own marriage and about pressure of work and what we planned to do about childcare.
We were honest with the SW - we said we'd not reached a conclusion about child care for example as we had a number of options. It didn't create any problems it seems as long as some thought has been given to the particular aspect of the adoption....
In addition to the questions the SW told us about books and online resources we could look at so it was helpful too.
I really wouldn't worry and I certainly wouldn't do things like redecorate like I've heard some people do! It's really nothing more than confirming that you've given the matter due care and attention and that the adopted child will not be placed into an abusive and/or dangerous home. Good luck!
Oh gosh -- baby proofing??? I just bought stuff to baby proof my home today and I received my referral in July!! And carbon monoxide detectors?? I just thought of those this week.
Seriously, I think that the social worker really only wants to make sure that you have a roof over your head and that there's room for a baby. My social worker and I spent most of the time talking. It was only in the last 5-10 minutes that she toured my home. It was a very quick look-see.
I wouldn't worry about having the baby's room set up, or hiding your craft stuff, or posting an evacuation plan. Gosh, when my home visit was done, the baby's room was barely set up as my office!
I know that this is hard to do and infinitely easier for me to say but -- relax! All you have to do is be yourself.
I was really nervous before my home visit, too, but after it was over, I realized that the social worker really wasn't there to judge me. She was there to help me realize my dream of becoming a parent.
Hmmmm......were we supposed to do something to prepare for the SW's visit?! :eek: Don't worry! Our SW really just wanted to talk with our children. She had them show her their rooms and asked how they felt about a baby sister. The only thing she did require was that we get a baby fence put around our pool. With 5 adopted children, we've had our share of home studies, and they're pretty basic. They won't be doing the white glove test. ;)
We had our homestudy this past Saturday and I too cleaned like a maniac and it was very unnecessary! She just barely looked around the house and didn't even go into the spare room where my dh and I had reorganized all the paperwork and the desk was actually clean for a change. She basically just asked us questions about our family members and we talked about this and that. It took about 3 hours and I felt bad because after reading some of the other posts, I didn't have any food to offer her except grapes. We don't keep snacks in the house and we only drink water since juices and soda are 100% sugar. She probably thinks our child will grow up on Broccoli alone. oops.
So my suggestions are to spend about 2 hours cleaning like vaccuum, dust and light a candle or too, put your dishes away and pick up the dirty clothes. And offer a muffin or bagel and some juice. hehe
Hope that helps.
Our social worker's visit to our home was about 25 minutes long (we had previously spent several hours with her at her office). She basically was looking around to be able to adequately describe the house and the property in the home study.
We live in Maryland, and the worst part of the paperchase for us was the county health department inspection (I don't believe this is required everywhere). They use the same standards for adoptions as they do for foster parents (of any age child), and consequently we were "cited" for not having child-proofed cabinets, having knives in a block on the counter (you'd have to be over 4 feet tall to reach), having stickers on our glass sliders that were at the wrong height, and we had to do some repairs to our screen porch. Once we had modified our screen porch, we were approved, even though we didn't do anything about the other issues. It's a matter of who the inspector is though, we know other people who breezed thru it with no issues.
We had to show all the smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. We had all the gates and cupboard /drawer latches purchased which she asked to see as well. We did not allow the dogs to bite her either!
[font=Arial]We just completed our home study - - we had two in-home visits. On her first trip, the SW took a tour of the house, took notes about the size and number of rooms, met the family dog and cats. The nursery as of now is our office - she just need to see that there is a room that will be available for the baby. There were no white glove tests, no closets were peaked into and no concerns about baby proofing. Her focus was on us - - our reasoning for the choice to adopt, child rearing ideas, discipline techniques, and our family views about adoption. Each visit was about 2 1/2 hours.
I was on the fence about food due to what I've read on this forum and the Big List. Since our visit was during lunch - I decided to have something ready to eat and then just ask her before setting it out. I explained what I had heard about those that consider it some form of a bribe to which she was astounded. She definitely enjoyed the food.
Although it's hard to do - try to relax. I felt like this person was coming into our home to judge us - - but after our first meeting I realized that she was there to help.