preparing for your home study



Caregiver Childhood

• Parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, extended family and friendships, relationships, education, good and painful memories.

• Discuss the parents’ feelings about their childhoods and parents, including any history of abuse or neglect and their resolution of those experiences.


Personal Characteristics

• Discuss emotional stability, good character, good health, and adult responsibility; and

• Discuss parents’ ability to provide nurturing care, appropriate supervision, reasonable discipline, and a home-like atmosphere for children.

Marital Relationships

• Previous marriages, divorces, or deaths of former spouses.

• Caregivers must demonstrate the ability to form and sustain adult relationships.

Family Violence Calls

• Discuss information pertaining to any domestic violence call to any law enforcement agency responded to at their residence during the previous 12 months.

• This agency request background information from each local law enforcement agency that responded to a call disclosed by the prospective parents.

Motivation to provide foster/adoptive care.

• Discuss how, when and why the prospective parent(s) made the decision to foster/adopt.

• Discuss fertility issues that may/may not have impacted the decision to foster/adopt.

Health status

• Discuss information about the physical and mental health status (including substance abuse history) of all persons living in the home in relation to the family’s ability to provide care, including observation for any indication of problems and follow up, where indicated, with a professional evaluation.

Marital and Family Relationships

• Discuss and address the quality of marital and family relationships in relation to the family's ability to provide care.

• Discuss the stability of a couple's relationship, the strengths and problems of the relationship, and how those issues will relate to children placed in the home.

• Discuss the quality of the relationships between prospective parents and their biological children, living in or out of the home, strengths and problems of those relationships, and how those issues will relate to children placed in the home.

Attitudes about Biological Family Religion

• Discuss willingness to respect and encourage a child's religious affiliation, if any;

• Discuss willingness to provide a child opportunity for religious and spiritual development, if desired; and

• Discuss the health protection plan to give a child if the parents’ religious beliefs prohibit certain medical treatment.

Child Care and Discipline

• Discuss values, feelings and practices regarding parents’ knowledge of child development and their child-care experience.

• Discuss the ways the applicants were disciplined as children and their reactions to the discipline they received.

• Discuss the prospective parents’ discipline styles, techniques, and their ability to recognize and respect differences in children and use discipline methods that suit the individual child. If current discipline methods are different than those that of this agency, discuss and how parents would change their child-care practices to conform to approved methods.

Abused and Neglected Children

• Discuss sensitivity to and feelings about abused/neglected and the prospective parents’ understanding of the dynamics of child abuse and neglect.

• Discuss and understanding of how these issues and experiences will affect parents, their families, and children in care.

• Discuss and assess the parent’s ability to help children who have been abused or neglected. If parent experienced abuse or neglect as a child, assess his handling of those experiences and the impact of those experiences on the ability to help children deal with their own experiences.

• Discuss the availability of family and community resources to meet the needs of the children in the family’s care.

Separation and Loss

• Discuss sensitivity to and feelings about a child’s experience of separation and loss and the parents’ understanding of the dynamics of separation and loss and the effects of these experiences on children.

• Discuss parents’ personal experiences with separation and loss and their processing of those experiences.

• Discuss parents’ acceptance of the process of grief and loss for children and assess ability to help a child through the grieving process.

Child’s Biological Family

• Discuss the parents’ feelings about the child’s biological parents, including those parents who abused or neglected the child.

• Discuss sensitivity and reactions to the biological parents and sensitivity to and acceptance of a child’s feelings about his parents and ability to help the child deal with those feelings.

• Discuss parents’ sensitivity to and acceptance of the child’s relationships with his siblings and willingness to support the child’s relationships with parents, siblings, and extended family including support for contacts between the child and his family.

Other Household Members

• Discuss the attitudes of other household members toward the plan to provide care, involvement in the care of children, their attitudes toward foster children, and their acceptance of the verification as a foster/adoptive family.

Extended Family

• Discuss extended family’s attitude toward foster/adoptive care and foster/adoptive children and the involvement the extended family will have with children.

• Discuss the impact the extended family’s attitudes will have on the family’s ability to provide foster/adoptive care and whether the extended family will serve as a support system for the family and for foster/adoptive children.

Support Systems

• Discuss the support systems available to the family and the support they may receive from these resources.


• Discuss parents’ expectations of children in care and the flexibility of their expectations in relation to the child’s actual needs and abilities.

• Discuss the capacities to recognize and emphasize the strengths and achievements of the child and their capacities to adjust expectations according to the abilities of the child.

Experience with Behaviors and Backgrounds

• Discuss family’s ability to work with specific behaviors, backgrounds, special needs and/or disabilities, and other characteristics of foster/adoptive children.