What Is Adoption?
Orientation and Training
The Assessment phase includes the social worker reviewing your completed application, criminal background checks, WVDHHR Adult and Child Protective Services clearances, physical examinations, training and a completed home study.
We utilize the PRIDE curriculum for adoptive families. In the case of intercountry adoptions we also use EYES WIDE OPEN.
Our adoptive home study format is based on guidelines from several sources. As a Licensed Child Placing Agency in the state of West Virginia, we are required to follow strict guidelines in operation of an adoption program. We are also accredited through the Council on Accreditation.
Although home studies differ across various agencies, the basic information gathered is the same. Please contact your social worker to get further information what is included in a home study. This will help to prepare you for what to expect during the interviews with the social worker.
A home study is a mutual assessment that involves a social worker and the family or individual who is considering adoption. The process is an exploration of the family or individual’s history, characteristics, and strengths that will lead to successful adoptive placement. At the completion of the assessment process, the social worker and the potential adopters should jointly arrive at a decision as to the family’s readiness and the characteristics of the child(ren) most appropriate to the adoptive parent’s skills and strengths.
A home study is a process of education and self-evaluation. It is an opportunity to look at yourself and your support systems, explore beliefs, attitudes, opinions, self-image, goals, achievements, and coping skills. Examining your motivation to adopt is also important. When infertility is an issue, examining how this will impact your expectations of an adopted child is crucial. In all families it is important that all members of the family be involved in discussion including the extended family. It is better to discuss any issues of concern up front than to be surprised after the placement has occurred.
Completing a home study requires time, thought and energy. Some people may approach the home study with anxiety. It is important to remember that the home study is designed to be a tool for both you and your social worker to identify strengths and vulnerabilities that will affect you and the child in the months and years after placement has occurred. Openness and honesty are needed to assure that the final decision will be one that you can feel good about, in both the short and long run.
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