Home Study In-Home Visit
Home visits from the social worker can make adoptive families very anxious. This is a perfectly normal feeling, as this is a big step toward being approved to adopt. It is very unlikely that these nerves will go away; however, preparing yourself and learning about the process can help you achieve some sense of calm.
After being assigned to your family, your home study social worker will schedule your home visit at a time when all family members can be present. This visit will usually take two to four hours and will include family interviews with the social worker.
During the visit your social worker will observe your family interactions and your home and neighborhood. This is to ensure your home offers a safe environment for a child. He or she will also discuss accommodations for the child, such as the bedroom and safety precautions. Though your social worker will ensure you have the space for a child, it is not necessary to have a nursery fully prepared and ready for a child.
While “baby-proofing” is not entirely necessary before this visit, you will want to ensure that you have taken all necessary steps to ensure a safe environment for a child. All smoke detectors should be working, cleaning chemicals and medicines should be out of reach or locked in cabinets, firearms should be in a locked container with ammunition stored separately, and swimming pools should have safety precautions installed. However, if you haven’t completed these steps before the first visit, it won’t jeopardize your adoption; your social worker will give you the opportunity to complete any safety requirements before the home study is submitted.
Though a certain level of cleanliness is expected, the social worker is not there to evaluate your housekeeping skills. Some clutter is expected. Overall, he/she is simply looking for a safe, nurturing, loving environment for a child.