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Home Study: the Big Test for Foster Care

Home StudyAs most of you know who’ve been reading a while, our foster care process started a year ago. We had our ups and downs financially, but now our ups are so much better than our downs are bad, we are ready to keep moving forward. We have had our backgrounds checked, fingerprints taken, medical exams done, and our moral character notarized. Today, at 11am EST, we have our home study!

What is a home study?

Well, we’re not exactly sure. We haven’t done this before, but we have been told quite a bit from several sources, so here’s what we think will go down:

  • we’ll finish up some paperwork
  • we’ll find out we haven’t received some paperwork that we still need to do
  • we’ll have 95% of our house approved with some changes remaining
  • we’ll get licensed for both spare bedrooms and a broader age range, but that will lead to the house only being 90% approved
  • there will be some sense of relief and disappointment that we’re not done yet

Leftover tidbits

I started writing a post a couple of weeks ago, and this is all that should be published from that brain dump because I wasn’t thinking positively for a good week or so. I hope it clears up some questions about foster care that people ask us. We don’t mind questions, but these should fix some misconceptions about fostering:

  • No, we aren’t fostering to adopt. That does not exist, or at least not in Florida. The goal is always reunification with family members unless they are already seeking to terminate parental rights (TPR), in which case, temporary care is needed for 6-12 months until that is final and an adoption can proceed. Foster parents do get “first dibs,” but obviously not every placement is going to be a good match due to thousands of possible factors.
  • No, we don’t get to pick out who to foster. We don’t know what age or gender or race. We can safely assume we need to be ready for anything within the parameters we are comfortable with. Here’s what happens, and it’s just like the show COPS: someone is bad, an idiot, or having a rough spell and the cops, CPS, or other agency steps in and removes a child or sibling group from a situation. They have 24 hours to get them into a group home or foster home. They call everyone on their list for fostering and we can ask some questions and accept or turn down a placement due to age, medical issues, the situation behind the removal, or because we are at our licensed limit for placement at the moment. We are then to care for them until they are reunited or placed with an adoptive family. Beautiful also wrote about this yesterday.

We’ve met several CFers who have done in vitro, have a CFer practically across the street who did international adoption, but so far we haven’t met any of the half-dozen or so CFers I know through Facebook who are fostering or have fostered. This is a new world of parenting for us and for everyone who is close to us, so 2012 is going to be an interesting year for a lot of us.


  1. As Dave Dorsey might say, “You’re running through the tall grass, Jesse!”

  2. So excited for our licensing person to arrive!

  3. Glad you’ll have this step behind you soon. Looking forward to hearing the results.