Every Child Deserves a Forever Family.We are here to help make forever possible
Our Services include the completion of a Home Study.
What is a Home Study?
A Home Study is a comprehensive summary and screening of the prospective adoptive parent’s life history, current functioning, and home life. The home study serves three major purposes: to assess and approve a family to adopt, educate a family about all aspects of the adoption process, and tell their story. The document also determines the individual or couple’s ability to provide safety, nurturing, and commitment to a child.
The home study process can seem very perplexed to families. Many families may find themselves confused about what a home study is, who completes the home study, and what to expect. Our goal is to provide anabundance of information to ease your mind about the home study process.
The home study is a significant step in building your family through adoption as it is a crucial part of the adoption process. The home study concludes with a written report that your caseworker creates about your family. It includes basic information drawn from interviews with your family. Generally, the information in the home study report includes;
- Education and Employment
- Background Check
- Family background, financial statement, and references
- Parenting experience
- Relationship and Social Life
- Daily life routines
- Details about home environment and community.
- Approval and recommendation regarding the best children your family can parent
Note that a home study in PA is good for three years, provided that you update your home study each year if you haven’t already received a placement of a child.
At Journey of Faith Children and Family Services, we have experience completing home studies for many families. As a result, we can provide you with a home study that will approve you to adopt in the state of Pennsylvania and Tri-State Areas. Our qualified staff takes pride in writing thorough home study reports. We care about telling your family’s story.
The first purpose of a home study is to assess your eligibility in your home state to adopt. You will be asked to collect and compile many documents that you’ll send to Journey of Faith for review. These include vital records, financial statements, state police, FBI and child abuse clearances, and reference letters. You will be given detailed instructions and forms on how to complete these items. When all your documents have been collected, a social worker will contact you to schedule the home visit/s. The number of visits can vary based on state requirements and other aspects of your family. The documents will show that you meet the criteria required to adopt in PA.
Home visits are another portion of the assessment process. The social worker assigned to your family will come to your home and conduct home visit/s. Part of the home visit will include individual and joint interviews with all household members. The other piece of the home visit is to check the safety of your home. In PA, that will include making sure you have operating smoke alarms and no apparent safety hazards in or around the home. If there is something that makes the home unsafe, you will have a chance to fix that to be approved. Families also wonder if they will need a nursery set up for their child or if their home should be home baby-proofed. That is not necessary; you’ll only need to show that you have room for a child within the home. The supplies can come after you have a match with birth parents.
You will be asked to be open and honest about your life during the interviews. You’ll be asked about your childhood and the discipline methods used in your home of origin. You will also be asked about your home and family. We will want to know what obstacles you’ve faced in life and what healthy coping skills you developed. If you are a couple, you’ll be asked, for example, how you solve conflict with each other and how to divide household tasks. If you have any concerns about something in your past, chances are it won’t exclude you from adopting. The best thing to do is to talk with the Journey of Faith staff before initiating the home study to ask about your situation and put your mind at ease.
As part of the home study process, you’ll be asked to complete online training which will help you prepare for all the aspects of a healthy adoption. The trainings will also help you understand the risks involved in adoption, be prepared for caring for your child, and give you the tools to help you be as flexible as possible. In addition to completing the online training, you’ll be given resources from your social worker on a variety of topics to help you prepare for adoption. You’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have with your social worker. The goal is to provide you with the necessary tools to complete the adoption process and to continue learning.
Telling your story
Imagine going through this process as a birth family. Wouldn’t you like to know as much about a family that you possibly could? Wouldn’t you want to get a feel of the family where your biological child will be placed? Our goal is to provide as much detail about your family as possible. The birth families will meet your home study before meeting you. Our Team work hard to make your home study a shining reflection of your family. For this reason, we use social workers who have good assessment skills and are excellent writers. We want the home study report to be interesting for the birth families and the judges to read.
If you’re wondering who will read your report, a home study is typically read by your placing agency staff and the judge who will finalize your adoption. If you adopt a child outside of your home state, the interstate compact team of both the state of the child’s birth and PA interstate will also read your home study.
How long is the Home Study Process?
The timing of a home study is primarily based on the amount of time it takes you to compile the supporting documents. We have a relatively rapid processing time when you have submitted all of the documents to Journey of Faith. If you have not submitted a necessary document, that can hold up the process. It sometimes takes several weeks once it is submitted for the home study to be finalized. Because we are a small agency, this generally means a faster turnaround time for home studies. We are exclusively a domestic adoption agency. We do not complete home studies for international adoptions. Feel free to contact our director, Nakeya Berry, with any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.