Preparing for a Home Study: How to Make Your Home Safe For an Adoption

As you prepare for your adoption home study, it is important to focus on the safety items that your case worker will be looking for to be sure that your home is safe and ready for a child. Unfortunately, drownings, gun deaths, and fires occur every day in the United States and many of them are preventable.

Here is Haven Adoptions’s guide to making your home safe for a child to enter.

Safety Guidelines for a Home Study

While there is a lot that goes into preparing your home for a home study, following the below guidelines will help make the prepare your home for the process.

  1. While not required, we encourage all families to have a first aid kit in their home for any minor injuries.
  2. Learn CPR and First Aid. Check your area for local classes or find one on-line.
  3. As children begin walking, be sure to have protective safety caps in every electrical outlet.
  4. Store all medications and cleaning supplies in a locked or inaccessible area for children under 5 years of age.
  5. For young children who are crawling or walking, make sure all stairways and doorways are secure with safety gates.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 365,000 homes in the United States catch fire each year. There are many steps you can take to protect your family and prevent a house fire:

  1. Working smoke detectors, at least one on each floor, but preferably in each bedroom and two on the first floor. Test your smoke detectors regularly and replace the batteries as needed.
  2. A fire extinguisher is to be stored in the kitchen and any other cooking area.
  3. Carbon monoxide detectors, one placed 10 to 20 feet from the heater or furnace and then one on every level of the home.
  4. While not required for an adoption home study, we highly recommend having a fire escape plan in the home and a fire escape ladder upstairs.

While pools are a lot of fun for children and adults alike, they can also be a very large safety hazard for young children. On average, one child dies each day to drowning in the United States and the majority occur in private pools. Keep children in your home safe by completing the following:

  1. Build a pool fence, preferably at least 5 to 6 feet in height, with a lock on the fence.
  2. While not required, an even extra safety measure is to install a pool alarm that will alert you when the gate to the pool is opened or an underwater swimming pool alarm system that will alert you if anyone enters the pool.
  3. Teach children how to swim at an early age. Children as young as a year old can learn how to float and swim.

The safest home for children and teens is one without guns. Children as young as 3 years old may be strong enough to pull the trigger on a handgun and out of the average 23,000 deaths a year to firearms, more than 1,000 of those deaths were by accident. If you do own a gun, you are required to follow these guidelines:

  1. The gun needs to be stored unloaded, in a locked safe that is inaccessible by children.
  2. The ammunition is to be stored in a separate locked safe that has a different key for the lock or a different code.
  3. Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use.
  4. Make sure any children in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms.

Haven Adoptions is here to help keep your home safe, so if you have any questions please reach out to us at