The Importance of the Home Study
Written by: Deann Borkowski, LMSW Clinical Director
As the Clinical Director of Carolina Adoption Services, I wanted to share with you my excitement for how our whole team will support your family, from the first “hello” when you call inquiring about adoption throughout completing your child’s post adoption visits and beyond. We are always here and happy to help, on every step of your adoption journey, as our agency staff and our Home Study Workers are committed to bringing children home to their forever families. Our daily work is committed to improving the quality of life for children and families both internationally and domestically. We have a vision to create opportunities for every child to grow and develop in a loving, caring, and safe environment.
Personally, I have been working in domestic and inter-country adoption for over eleven years. Therefore, I do understand how overwhelming the process can be for a family, particularly if it is your first adoption. As a team at Carolina Adoption Services, we believe that ongoing communication with our families is essential to build a relationship and trust in us throughout your adoption journey. We recognize that you are investing your time, your finances, as well as your physical and emotional energy in us as an agency. We are honored with every family who chooses us and we value your choice to consider partnering with Carolina Adoption Services.
If you decide to work with us as an agency, our team will guide you during each step of the process. As the Clinical Director, I oversee our Family Services Team. One of my main roles on our team is to oversee the home study process. Therefore, I wanted to share with you more about the home study and its importance for your adoption journey, whether you are adopting domestically or internationally.
During the home study, your Home Study Worker will explore and discuss topics such as your childhood, including current familial relationships, your marriage, your motivation for adoption, attitudes towards the birth parents, plans to preserve and share the cultural heritage of your child, and your approach to parenting. There will be conversation surrounding topics including grief, separation, attachment, institutionalization, special needs, loss, trauma, transracial adoption, and cultural issues, as well as any country specific topics. If you are adopting domestically, your Home Study Worker will address topics such as the level of openness for your adoption and legal risk. Our Home Study Workers are also happy to provide additional educational resources and to connect you to community supports, particularly for the medical and special needs you have identified. All you need to do is ask!
Also, the home study includes a tour of your home and inspection to ensure it meets state licensing standards. We can provide more information as needed, but the home needs to be hazard-free and a child-friendly environment. The Home Study Worker will view the entire home and will need to see the room identified for your child to be adopted.
We utilize the home study both to assess potential adoptive parents, but also to prepare and educate them for the child they may bring into their home, if a home study approval is issued. The home study process is an assessment, which is completed through the collection of documents; the home study visits with your Home Study Worker, ongoing discussion and collaboration, and the completion of the written report and recommendation, which is reviewed by all parties. The main priority of Carolina Adoption Services is always what is in the best interest of a child to be placed in a home. The Home Study Worker, in conjunction with the Clinical Director, the team at Carolina Adoption Services, and placing agency, if applicable, all collaborate as a team to ensure recommendations in the home study process are made in the best interest of the children and the families, who we serve.
In closing, our team understands that this process can feel overwhelming and invasive, but we are partnering with you to discern if adoption is the right path for you and then, to prepare you, to educate you, and to ascertain the country program or domestic adoption and level of openness, if applicable, type of child, and child’s needs that are the best fit for you and your family. Ultimately, we are seeking to change the world, one child at a time, by continuing to place children in loving, permanent homes and it all starts with the home study. We look forward to taking that step together with you.