Home Study

“The women at Haven were the best group of people I could have dreamed to work with. My case manager helped to answer all of my questions, provided me with so much helpful information, and was just there for me when I needed her during such an important step in the process, my home study. I would recommend Haven to anyone thinking about adoption.” Melissa, Home Study Client

Haven Adoptions completes foster care home studies for families both within our program and from other agencies. The information below is for FOSTER CARE home studies. If you are interested in private adoption home studies, please see our ADOPTIVE PARENTS HOME STUDY PAGE.

The laws of Pennsylvania require all foster care families to participate in a home study. This process has three purposes:

1. Educate and prepare the foster care family for the placement of a child in their home.

2. Evaluate the overall well being of the foster care family.

3. Gather information about the prospective foster care family that will help aid the case manager to connect the family with a child whose needs they can meet.

With accurate information about the process, prospective foster care parents can face the home study experience with confidence and the excitement that should accompany the prospect of welcoming a child into their family. It may be helpful to remember that Haven Adoptions is not looking for “perfect parents.” Rather, the agency is looking for a good match between a child’s needs and a family’s
ability to meet those needs.

Specific home study requirements and processes vary greatly from agency to agency, as well as state to state. Haven Foster Care’s home study is comprised of the following:

An interview with the prospective foster care family to aid in the development of the case manager/family relationship. The prospective adoptive family will explore feelings towards adopting a child of a different race, adopting sibling groups, having an open versus closed adoption with biological parent(s) and other important decisions to be made during the adoption process. This process should be both a self-reflective process and a time to educate the prospective adoptive family about issues with which they may not yet be familiar.

A home visit by the case manager to ensure that the home offers a safe environment for a child and meets Pennsylvania State licensing standards. The prospective adoptive family’s home should be free from hazards and offer a child-friendly environment for the age range for which they are being approved. The caseworker is not inspecting housekeeping skills, and while some family clutter is expected, a certain level of order is necessary. Haven is seeking a safe, child- friendly environment. You will receive a list of necessary items for prospective children.

Health statements (physical exam within the last year) from a general physician and a statement from him or her confirming that they are physically and mentally able to care for a child. If any member of the prospective adoptive family has a medical condition that is under control, they may still be approved as an adoptive family/parent. A serious health problem, such as a communicable disease or one that effects normal life expectancy, may prevent approval. Every adoption situation is unique, and Haven encourages all families to touch base
with the case manager regarding any issues or concerns.

Income statements for proof that the prospective adoptive family can manage finances responsibly. Haven asks that foster care families verify their income by providing copies of pay stubs, W-4 forms and/or income tax forms. Haven also asks for copies of saving statements, insurance policies including health coverage, investments and debt.

State, federal and child abuse clearances are required yearly for each adult living in the home. All agencies, private and public, must follow the state and federal laws and policies regarding approval requirements and how the findings of background checks affect eligibility for adoptive parents. However, if there is a situation that the prospective foster care family feels may disqualify them from being a foster parent, this needs to be addressed with the case manager prior to the home study.

Autobiographical statements from each prospective foster care parent. The purpose of the autobiography is to help the case manager understand the family background, childhood experiences, education and work experience, relationships, and employment. It is also to assist him or her in writing the home study report. Haven understands that this process might be difficult, but the exercise is intended to provide information to the agency and for the agency to understand what life experiences have shaped who they are today.

Contact Us to receive more information or get your foster care home study started!