Thursday, October 17, 2013

Foster Training Is Complete, Next Up: Home Study

Hey, guess what!  We finished our DFPS training last week.  Time flies when you are trying to stay afloat through 6 hours of training per week plus one short month to get lots of inspections and paperwork done plus homework and a midterm, all sandwiched conveniently between two tax deadlines.  Ay yi yi.  But we did it! And we have fancy certificates to prove it.

Friends, we are getting really close to being licensed foster parents with our names on the "ready, set, go list", which is a real thing but not named that I'm sure because I just made that up...   But for real, we're about a month away from being licensed. Our nine training sessions are complete, our ole house has passed its various inspections and our initial home visit from our social worker resulted in her "selecting us in" to the system which is their fancy way of telling us we've made it through Round One.  

Now comes Round Two.  The Home Study.

"But Anna," you say, "didn't you just tell us they've already studied your home plenty and it passed with flying colors?"  Well, first of all, I don't know about flying colors...probably more like 35 mile per hour colors. I mean, come on, we can't get grass to grow in our backyard and the dining room that I tore into in 2009 still doesn't have baseboards...  Anyway.  Yes, they have checked out our physical house and deemed it safe for children.  Now what's left is for them to check us out as human beings.   Hence, the home study visit.

DFPS currently contracts out home studies (because there is currently funding to do so) to a firm that does nothing but home studies.  So, DFPS will gather up every scrap of paperwork we have turned in and hand it over to this firm, who will start our file then call us soon to schedule a home study visit from one of their people. This person isn't interested in our house. They are interested in us. It will basically be about half a day of questions.  Lots of talking.  Lots. As our social worker told us "they're gonna get in our business."  Who are we? Why do we want to be foster-to-adopt parents? How were we raised?  How is our relationship with our families?  What experience do we have with kids? How will we parent and discipline? What support system do we have? How is our marriage?  How do we make decisions and handle stress?

Did I mention this takes about half a day?  Whew.  Bring it on.

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