We hear so many different things from our families when they are in the licensing process about the dreaded home study. Many of our families think that everything must be perfect and they spend hours worrying about how to present themselves and their home. Buckner staff would tell you to relax and be yourselves! We love doing home studies because it is a great opportunity to learn more about you and how you will uniquely impact the children we serve. Below are our answers to some frequently asked questions:
What kind of questions do you ask in the home study?
We ask a lot of questions. Grab some water and be prepared to talk! Questions will range from your motivation to foster and/or adopt, your childhood, current relationship with your family, your marriage, your parenting practices, finances, how you want to help a child in your home and the type of child you think would be the best fit in your home.
What if my childhood or some part of my past is not perfect?
First, we want you to know that NO family is perfect. Christ has shown grace and provided redemption in your life like we hope you will be part of for the children placed in your home. We do want to address some of the not-so-perfect aspects of your history, and we want to ensure that you have fully addressed the emotions that come with your history.
Who in the house will be interviewed?
Everyone! We will do private interviews with each individual in your home, including children three and older. If you have a child under the age of three, we will ask you questions and observe the child interacting. We will have a joint interview with your spouse. There will also be a family interview with everyone present. The family interview is informal and really is a chance to see how your family interacts with one another with you.
What are some tips to be prepared for the home study?
Eat and hydrate yourself. It is a long day. Be open and honest. We have heard it all and we want to help you. We are not looking for ways to deny you, but rather how to help you be successful with the children placed in your home. I would encourage you to pray and cast all of your anxieties upon God. He will guide you through this process.
How many visits will the home study be?
It varies depending on your family size. Typically, a home study will require at least two visits. There is a potential for more if there needs to be any type of follow up.
How should I prepare my house for the home study?
Please review the fire and health inspections forms. This will help you tremendously on what is required by the State of Texas. We want to do a walk-thru of your home and view bedrooms and who will sleep where. We will also check your medication and where it will be stored. We are also in the process of completing a checklist for your home so you can begin working on preparing your home.
Andi Harrison is a foster parent and serves as the Director of Foster Care and Adoption in North Texas.