We are getting ready to have the social worker come out to our house for the homestudy visit. She told us that we need to babyproof the house, including a fence around a pool, before we could finish the homestudy. We responded that we were requesting infant only, and since the child wouldn't be mobile yet it seemed silly. We don't mind doing it, and I can certainly do the cabinet latches and such, but the pool fence is a kind of big expense.
My SW is a contract worker for our agency, so she is checking with the agency. We're in Texas.
Melissa =)
Hi Melissa,
Yeah, we're running into this, too. And it's for an update! The original homestudy in March did not require this, but it was a different social worker. This one is due to our recent move, and the director herself will be doing it, and told us the same thing. Totally blows.
Good luck.
We live in florida and they to require a fence around the pool as well as cpr and water saftey classes even if you are doing under 1.
Sorry, I know it must be very expensive, but the requirement makes sense. I am sure that from the county/agency's insurance requirements (let alone yours) it is absolutely necessary. What if the worst did happen--the payout and negative publicity about foster homes being unsafe would be a disaster for them--not to mention the child, of course.
And, even if you get a newborn, it is only a matter of time (which will FLY) before they are in real danger from the pool. My 1st daughter walked at 9 months, and my 3rd could unbuckle her car seat by age 1--there are plenty of toddlers who specialize in locks and latches. Agencies/counties do not have the kind of time it would take to come by every few months and make sure things are safe for every age and stage of the child--they need to be in and done in one shot.
Plus, that fence probably isn't going to be any cheaper in a few months, and your expenses will have increased due to having a/nother child.
Plus--you guys have a pool! We don't and in our neighborhood can't, so we have to pay out the wazoo for a pool membership AND drive 10 miles. I can only feel a little sorry for ya ;)
Our pool was already fenced, but we had to have one window additionally fenced in. Window locks would not be sufficient.
This was for an older child, too. (She's 11)
They won't finish your homestudy otherwise. We did not have to do baby gates & locks, etc. Our social workers were very relaxed both times. We already had kids, so maybe they figured we had a lot of that stuff done anyway.
Just my opinion, if you have a pool - fence it in. This is the second neighborhood that we've lived in that had a child drown in the pool. One was an in-home daycare provider, too. It's just tragic.
Nikki Adoptee, Bio-Mom, A-Mom, Fost-Adopt Mom
In AZ, you have to have a pool fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate. No exceptions. They won't pass your home study without it.
Hey. We are starting the MAPP class in two weeks. Will our SW give us a list of things we need (as in babyproofing items) or should we just go ahead and get all that stuff now? Our SW has visited once and the only thing she mentioned was removing the deadbolts from both doors. And that was just for the fire inspection. Is it primarily up to the state you live in (NC here) or the SW as to what you need? Sorry, the previous post brought up some questions I have. ;) Thanks, Beth
Our agency gave us a list at the first training. There was not much for us to do but update the fire extinguisher and change the outlet covers that a child could easily reach. I have heard of other people having to lock up meds, cleaning supplies, etc., but they didn't check any of that. Also didn't mention the apparently there is a lot of variation, but I am sure you will be given in writing what they look for--you may want to call them and ask for that if you want to get started ahead of time.
We were never given an official list. We weren't able to have a homestudy visit until we'd completed the classes (I guess to make sure you go through it all and are serious). We were told a few things during the class, but nothing very specific. When they called about scheduling the first visit, she said we'd need to have cleaning supplies either out of reach or behind child-proof cabinets. We already had that done as I watch my niece daily. The only thing we didn't have was a fire extinguisher (which I found Lowe's has the best prices on those around here). We asked about locking up the meds, and she said as long as they were out of reach, we were fine. Some places I've heard require a lock box for refridgerated meds, as well as regular. They weren't so specific here. Most of the things we got ready for were common sense stuff. Moved the knife block waaaaay out of reach, cleaning supplies out of reach, checked smoke detectors out, etc.
As for smoke detectors, we were only required to have one per level. However our house had one in the kitchen, and one in the hall (one story house). We went ahead and put one in each bedroom just b/c they aren't that expensive and better safe than sorry! In Indiana, new housing codes for building require a detector to be put in every bedroom, so that will probably change how homestudies are done too. As for a pool fence....even if you have a baby in your home, it won't be that long before they start crawling. Infant/Child drowning can happen in the blink of an eye. Plus think of neighborhood children. I'd rather put one up and have to gripe about the cost than worry about a child accidently drowning! You would be held liable, even if it weren't your child.
Thats my 2 cents! Happy New Year
Thanks for all the info. I'm still waiting to hear from the SW, but my friend who used my agency said it was not required before the homestudy could be completed. I'll let you know what the SW says.
Melissa =)