We completed our second Home Study Saturday! It was the same case worker who did the first one. This time, she talked to us both as a couple and we went over things like
- How we met and when we started dating
- What we like about each other and what our strengths as a family are
- Parenting – discipline methods, what our hopes for Oliver are, how we would manage two kids
- How we planned to apply some of the things we learned in our classes – trauma informed care, preventing sexual assault, etc
- Family Rules (we don’t have a lot of hard rules, but we did talk about teaching him to listen and not hit)
- Even though we aren’t religious, they do ask if we are open to including religion in the child’s life if it’s important for them. This really is more for older children, but we did talk about it.
- How we feel about ourselves as parents
We also went over what we’re open to in terms of a child but also as a licensed foster home. So this included what age, race, and abilities/disabilities we would be open to. Since we’re open to any race, we also talked about how we would make sure a child of another race might feel in our family. I’m glad they ask these questions, it is important to think about. The full list of what topics are included in a Home Study in Texas is on the DFPS website here.
We also have the crib and some other things set up in the nursery, so we were able to show that. It might not look like the most Pinterest- worthy nursery just yet, but it has a crib and a rocking chair and even some decorations on the walls.
From here, our Home Study will get typed up and reviewed by a committee. This could take 2-3 weeks, but once the committee approves us we should be licensed in a couple of days. Shortly after that, we will meet with the placement specialist at Depelchin to go over what would be a good match.
We had our first Home Study this past Saturday. We will go through at least 2 Home Studies, and should only need another one if we need to clarify anything from those. Our second one is actually set for this coming Saturday, so we don’t have to wait for too long. This one was already almost a month after we were actually approved to go to Home Study.
This time around we each talked to the Case Worker separately, and then took her on a “tour” of the house and backyard. While Gabe and I each ended talking about more or less topics here’s what was covered:
- Our entire life story. Basically, you start at childhood and talk about how you got to today.
- Any childhood traumas. For me, this included a lot of questions about my parents divorce, what that was like, and how it was handled.
- The names/location/occupation/personalities of each member of your immediate family.
- Where we went to High School, College, etc.
- All of the jobs we’ve held and how we feel about our current job.
- Our physical/mental/emotional health (this actually was literally just the question “how is your emotional health?” so was easier than it sounds).
- How our families handled talking about sex and how that impacts our parenting.
- How close we are to our immediate family (how often do we see/talk to them).
While it was really in-depth, our Case Worker was very nice and so this felt a lot more like a conversation than an interrogation which was good. I’ve been really worried about this – since I’m estranged from my mother, I was worried this would be a red flag that I would struggle to explain but it turned out okay.
I actually found a guidelines for what the Home Study covers here. We went over some of it the night before, and it was helpful to have some idea of what to expect.
Next weeks Home Study will include interviewing us both together, and going over our budget. We also will take another look at the new baby’s room since we didn’t totally have the bed set up last time.
After that, our Home Study notes will all get typed up (this could take up to two weeks, it is our entire life story after all) and then sent to committee. The committee meets every Tuesday, and will either clear us for placement or come back with any questions.
Since we’re moving in to the final stretch (of the process to be placed, anyway) here’s a picture of Oliver and his Big Brother shirt.