Your homestudy will begin after you contract for adoption services and after you have completed Section A of your personal statements. After contracting for services, your materials will be forwarded to one of the agency social workers who will make contact with you to see when your Section A will be completed.
The Internet is a convenient way to transmit your personal statement information to your social worker, but please remember that Adoption Horizons must have a copy, as well as originals for all documents turned into the agency. These original documents are kept on file for the annual review by Community Care Licensing.
Once your social worker has reviewed your Section A, she will schedule a personal visit. At that time, she may also schedule the rest of your meetings as well. If married, both parties must attend each meeting.
The law stipulates that the homestudy consists of four in person visits with the social worker. One of those four visits must be in the home of residence. Additionally, each parent, child or other family member in the home must be individually interviewed (which may happen on the same night). The remaining interviews can take place somewhere other than the home. A social worker can request additional unlimited visits if warranted.
Homestudy visits last between 1-2 hours in duration. Families are asked questions that pertain to their personal statements, as well as questions that meet Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), State or Liaison agency requirements. Homestudies are completed in 3-4 months; however if circumstances warrant, they might be completed sooner. No Homestudies are completed in less than two months. Homestudies that are completed in less than 3-4 months are considered expedited.
Adoption Horizons is required to include information about past marriages, criminal records, situations involving domestic violence, child abuse or drug usage. We must also be honest in representing living situations and domestic partnering. Adoption Horizons will not withhold any of the above information for the benefit of placement. Also included, will be information from the required documents you give the agency.
Once all the visits with the social worker are completed, and all the required documents are in, the family will be given a rough draft of the homestudy for review. Once corrections from the family are in, a final copy of the homestudy is produced, which is notarized (family will be billed) and sent to the family and any other sources such as Immigration and Naturalization Services or the childs agency.
Once the homestudy is notarized, the family is ready to accept referrals of children. Your homestudy will be the working tool that introduces you to other agencies and the Immigration and Naturalization Services.