The home study is one of the most important parts of the adoption process. During the home study, a social worker or other court-appointed official, you and your family's everyday life will be closely examined. To help you get through the process, here are some tips.
Gather Statements and Documents
The social worker will require you to submit an autobiographical statement and health and income statement as part of the home study. Ensure that you have all of the documentation completed, copied, and ready to submit by the deadline provided by the social worker.
Before submitting your documentation, review your statements and documents with your family attorney. He or she can ensure that you have included all of the information that is required. The attorney can also help with proofreading your autobiographical statement to ensure that it not only grammatically correct, but that it really paints an accurate picture of who you are.
You also have to provide your social worker with contact information for people who can serve as references about you and your family. Try to pick people who have known you several years and are aware of your lifestyle. Good references can be instrumental in completing the adoption process.
Get Additional Help
If you need help gathering documents or preparing your home for the social worker's visit, get help. Create a list of projects you still need to complete and divide it among reliable friends and family. Be sure to write down which tasks you have delegated and the family member or friend responsible for each.
When you do delegate responsibilities, it is important that you set deadlines for each activity. Remember, your friends and family have responsibilities of their own to handle. Try to give deadlines that allow enough time for them to fit in your tasks while managing their own personal tasks.
Take a Break
Preparing for a home study can sometimes be overwhelming. Even though it might seem counterproductive, take a break whenever you feel overwhelmed.
Stress can cause you to make mistakes that you normally would not. By taking a day or two off, you are giving yourself a chance to relax and can approach the home study preparation with a refreshed view.
Consult with your family law attorney to learn of other ways you can prepare for the home study. An experienced attorney has been through the process and can help ensure you have not missed any important steps and deadlines.