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Foster Care Home Studies
Home studies provide child welfare agencies and the courts with the necessary comprehensive information for determining the most appropriate home for a child. They can also be an opportunity for potential foster families to assess their readiness. Many foster parents are also dually licensed, which allows the agency to recruit and prepare families simultaneously as foster and adoptive families through common home study training, background checks, and other procedures. Find resources and information on the home study process, including State and local examples.
|Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents|
|Series Title:||State Statutes|
|Author(s):||Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Download (PDF - 1,050KB)
|Year Published:||2011 - 174 pages|
|Presents State laws and policies for licensing or approving family foster homes, including laws about standards, the approval process, kinship foster care, and interjurisdictional approval. A licensed family is one that is approved by the State to provide care for children and that meets basic standards of safety set by law and regulation. These standards reduce predictable risks to the health, safety, and well-being of children in out-of-home care. The laws presented are current through October 2010.|
Home Study/Family Assessments and Child Matching with LGBT Families [Presentation Slides] (PDF - 171 KB)
Provides best practices for conducting homes studies and placements with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families.
Home Study Methods for Evaluating Prospective Resource Families: History, Current Challenges, and Promising Approaches
Crea, Barth, & Chintapalli
Child Welfare, 86(1), 2007
Introduces the SAFE home study process, presents results from expert interviews on the changing processes and purposes of home studies, and explores current challenges for the field.
How to Screen Adoptive and Foster Parents: A Workbook for Professionals and Students
Dickerson, Allen, & Pollack (2011)
Teaches specific interview skills and analytical decision-making techniques necessary to competently evaluate each unique applicant family within a variety of constructs.
SAFE Home Study: The Model Home Study for Adoption and Foster Care
Consortium for Children (2006)
Provides home study practitioners with a structured method to process, analyze, and assess the information they collect during a home study culminating in a comprehensive evaluation of family functioning.
Structured Home Study Evaluations: Perceived Benefits of SAFE Versus Conventional Home Studies
Crea, Barth, Chintapalli, & Buchanan
Adoption Quarterly, 12(2), 2009
Measures child welfare professionals' perception of the Structured Analysis Family Evaluation home study process that encourages consistent evaluations across workers, agencies, and jurisdictions. Includes areas for clarification, training, and potential improvement.
State and local examples
Instructions for Processing Requests for Interstate Home Studies (PDF - 64 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2010)
Discusses the process for home study requests through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children in Minnesota and provides guidelines for counties, tribal agencies, and licensed child placing agencies.
State Law Comparison Chart: Home Study and Adoption Finalization
Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (2009)
Compares the home study and adoption finalization requirements of different States.