Positive home study results can be achieved with honesty, directness and friendliness.
Difficulty: Moderately challenging
Things You'll Need
Understand that a court will order a home study of you and your home if you are seeking to adopt a child, applying to become a foster parent or are involved in an abuse, neglect or custody case.
Know that home studies are usually done by social workers who are specially trained to perform this type of work.
Expect a home study to take an hour or two. The social worker will come to your home and get to know everyone who is living in the home. He or she will spend some time looking around your home and assessing it with regard to safety and appropriateness for children.
Realize that the social worker will ask you for a personal history and will ask questions about your background.
Plan on the social worker making at least one unannounced visit.
Be honest and open with the social worker. Don't try to hide anything. If you do, it will probably come out later and appear much worse. If you have things in your past that you fear will reflect negatively on you, tell the worker about them and explain what happened and why. Be sure to explain what you learned from it and how you've changed.
Prepare yourself to answer difficult questions about topics that may make you uncomfortable.
Treat the social worker in a friendly and pleasant way, but try not to be overly friendly or insincere.
Tell him or her your real reasons and motivations for wanting to adopt, be a foster parent, obtain custody and so on. Even if you must say you want to adopt because you've always wanted to buy little baby clothes and have someone to toss a football to, say it and give it the passion you feel.
Tips & Warnings
- There's no need to dress up for your home study appointment. Dress in nice-looking casual clothing.
- Keep your home neat and clean for the planned visit and in the weeks that follow, when an unannounced visit is likely.
- Don't attempt to be something you're not. If you try to appear as if you're an expert on child development or as if you've had lots of experience caring for babies when in fact you haven't, the worker will likely see through you.