The home study can be an overwhelming process. There are numerous background checks, visits with a social worker, and a lot of paperwork, but it is not something to be afraid of. As an adoptive mom who has had a home study completed and a social worker who completes home studies for other families, I have been on both sides.

I think that many people are afraid of the home study because of the amount of paperwork and the stereotypes that exist about the home study. I have heard many people say they cleaned their home from top to bottom before the social worker’s visit in the home. The social worker is not coming with a white glove to check the dust; he or she is there just to ensure the home is a safe environment for a child.

Another thing that makes me cringe is when I hear, “Did I get approved?” While, yes, you do have to have certain things and qualifications for your home study to get finalized, the social worker is there for you. They are there to answer and questions you have and to confirm that you have all the resources you need to be wonderful parents.

Another major aspect about the home study is the openness and sharing of information. The social worker will ask you some personal questions regarding finances, relationships, and your childhood. While you will get to know your social worker, he/she will still basically be a stranger to you. But again, I want to reiterate that your social worker is just there to ensure a child will be safe in your home and you have all the resources you need to be a great parent.

For those of you who have completed a home study, what advice would you give someone starting the process?