I feel like I’ve heard horror stories about home studies.
But now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever actually have.
And our home study really wasn’t that bad. I mean, yes, there is a big huge long check-list, but everything is manageable. I did over-clean. I had our house so spotless I barely recognized it. I even organized all of our closets and had blankets perfectly folded on every bed.
Now I know better!
A dear friend offered to take our kids since an initial home study can take several hours. THAT was a ginormous help so that we could focus on the licensor and his questions.
We started off by walking through the house. Thankfully, we had received a long check-list with things we needed to have done.
- Locks on all hazardous cleaning or household chemicals
- Working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level
- Fire extinguisher
- Hazardous areas mitigated (window wells, pools, stairwells, etc.)
- Firearms and ammo stored in specific ways
- First aid kits in the house and vehicles
- Screens in windows
- Beds for kids
- Closets or dressers for kiddo’s stuff
That is not a complete list, but it does include a lot of the big things. Thankfully, when we moved into our home, we knew most of these things and were able to strategically unpack.
The walk-through took maybe twenty minutes. The only thing that we had to change was a TV. We had it sitting on top of the mantle while Joe figured out a mounting system. It was pretty much a fifteen minute fix. We snapped a photo, texted it to our licensor, and we were good to go.
The bigger part of the home study was the question time.
Our licensor asked about EVERYTHING. Our growing-up experiences. How our parents disciplined us. Our parents’ parenting style. Our parents’ careers. Stay-at-home-moms or working-moms. Traumas we have experienced. How we coped with those traumas. Support we had during traumas. Our furthest levels of education. Any criminal records. How much experience we have working with kids. How we met. How long before we married. Our personal strengths and weaknesses. How we work through disagreements in our marriage. Our parenting styles (definitely more free-range than helicopter!). How we discipline our children. What we will name our next six kids. The list goes on.
Ok, so that last one was just a joke.
But pretty much no area was off limits. Our licensor gave us the option to answer the questions separately, but we were completely comfortable answering them together.
He was so kind and respectful. He didn’t come across as judgmental about any of our answers, and he made answering easy.
I don’t know if all licensors are like this. But ours was great.
Within a few days, we had our license and were good to go. All that training and paperwork and months of waiting...and we were finally foster parents.
Every year we have to have our home re-licensed. That check is MUCH quicker. The whole thing maybe took forty-five minutes this year. We had the same licensor, and he double checked the smoke / carbon monoxide detectors, looked at the new room we put in the basement, and confirmed the locks on the household chemicals and paints. He had a few questions on if our immunizations and first-aid training were still up to date. And that was it.