Guide To Surviving The Home Visit Of Your Home Study

Nervous about a social worker visiting your home? Don't be.

Shelley Skuster July 18, 2017

Let’s face it – completing your home study can be a daunting task.

It’s easy to feel nervous and overwhelmed at the thought of a social worker visiting your home. Rest assured, most people have survived – even when there’s a little hiccup along the way (click HERE to read real-life home study horror stories that families laugh about now).

Here are six tips to surviving the home visit portion of your home study:


Be prepared for a tour
1. Be prepared for a tour

No need to worry about the white glove test, but it may be a good idea to straighten things up in your house before inviting the social worker inside. Your social worker will want to see bedrooms and living spaces to ensure your house is a safe environment for a child to be in, but they aren’t looking for it to be perfect.

Note: While guidelines vary by state and agency, most home studies do not require potential families to have a nursery set up prior to the home visit.

Offer refreshments
2. Offer refreshments

The home visit is a great opportunity for your social worker to get to know you on a more personal level. While it’s certainly not required, many families offer light refreshments during the home visit portion of their home study. Even if your social worker doesn’t take you up on the offer, s/he will likely appreciate the courtesy of a drink and small snack while visiting.

3. Relax

It’s normal to be nervous as you prepare for your home visit, but remember – your social worker is on your side! Your social worker isn’t looking for perfection. They’re simply looking to ensure your home is safe for a child.

Be prepared for an interview
4. Be prepared for an interview

If that word makes you nervous, think of this portion of your home visit as a conversation with your social worker. Depending on what state you live in, you may complete the interview portion separately from your spouse. Regardless of whether it’s a joint interview or separate, consider this time as an opportunity for your social worker to learn about your family, your motivations to adopt and what you know about the adoption process.

Ensure safety
5. Ensure safety

Rules and regulations may vary by state or agency, but your social worker will likely look for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout your home. Be prepared to answer questions about how and where you store chemicals, sharp objects and any firearms – these items should be locked away safely.

Note: While pets can make great companions, if they have a tendency to get wile with house guests you may want to consider keeping them outside, in a bedroom or with a pet-sitter during your home visit.

Celebrate milestones
6. Celebrate milestones

Whether it’s the completion of your home visit, the finalization of background checks or finally receiving your fingerprint clearances, be sure to celebrate the milestones in the adoption process with your spouse or loved ones.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes and she can also be found on facebook and twitter as ShelleySkuster.

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