What You Can Expect During the Shasta County Foster Care Home Study Process
Choosing to open up your home and become a foster parent is one of the greatest things you can do for your community, but before you can receive a placement, there are several steps that must be completed. All individuals and families who show interest in being a part of the Shasta County foster care system will be thoroughly evaluated, and one of the ways this is done is through the home study process. A home study involves meeting with a social worker to discuss your background and reasons for wanting to foster and to assess the safety of your home. This can be a nerve-wracking time for prospective parents, but knowing what to expect should make it a little easier to endure. Below is a general guideline of what will take place.
As you prepare for this portion of the home study, remember that foster parenting doesn’t always turn out to be the right decision for everyone who applies, so it’s the social worker’s job to conduct a very in-depth interview to determine this before the process goes any further as well as to ensure that if you do continue, you are matched up with a child that is the right fit for your family. There will be a variety of questions on a range of topics (childhood, culture, religion, relationships, parenting experience and practices, health, etc.), some routine and some that delve deep into your personal life. The following are a few examples:
- Describe your childhood.
- How were you disciplined as a child?
- What kind of family support system do you have now?
- What is your marriage/partnership like? Do you fight?
- What are your religious beliefs?
- What is your parenting philosophy?
- How do you discipline your own children?
- What activities do you do as a family?
- Why do you want to be a foster parent?
- What types of children are you willing to take in?
There may be an extensive list of paperwork to be gathered and turned in, such as medical records, proof of insurance, pet vaccines, copies of birth certificates, an autobiographical statement, referral letters, income verification, etc. Having a good portion of these documents ready beforehand can help to shorten the length of time it takes to complete your home study.
A lot of people are concerned about just how much they’ll be scrutinized during the home walk-through, but your social worker won’t be taking note of a couple dirty dishes left in the sink or a few toys scattered around the yard. They will be looking to make certain that your property is up to standard with all of the safety regulations that are required of foster care homes, such as properly working smoke detectors, a designated locked space for medicine and cleaning supplies, a bed for every child, compliance with fire and building codes, etc.
Explanation of What Will Be Expected of You
You should be able to expect for your social worker to explain exactly what they’re looking for in foster parents and how to successfully complete the licensing process. They should also provide you with information on children’s rights in foster care as well as your own as a foster parent.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Shasta County foster care home study process can take several months and may include numerous visits from your assigned social worker. This is just to ensure that, in the end, all children and foster parents are matched with the most suitable placements.