Fostering: Getting Certified - First meeting with our DHS Officer - behind the diy



Fostering: Getting Certified - First meeting with our DHS Officer

- Friday, January 17, 2020. to read...

Hi everyone!
I am going to do blog posts about our experiences every time we do something new on the road to becoming certified foster parents. I have seen a lot being asked about what they will do and how the process will go, and while it varies state to state I am sure there are some similarities. What I haven't read anywhere were clear answers, so I am hoping this will help you!

Leading up to our first appointment:
To date we have done the Orientation class which was a brief overview of foster care, what to expect, what is expected of you, a ton of facts! After our orientation class we were allowed to apply to become certified, we were emailed an application and we scanned it back to them. We signed up for "Foundation" classes which are 3 days of classes that are required to become certified in our state. Then we waited. We had an interim case worker that answered my questions and helped me when I needed it and then I was assigned a permanent case worker, when this happened she made an appointment to meet with us for our first "home study" appointment, which was 3 weeks out. You may already know this but the home study is not just of your home it is about everything in your home as well, adults, Kids and animals, so the whole interview process and safety process is written into a "home study" report.

Our first home study appointment:
Our first appointment was casual and we could both be in the room. She said our kids were allowed to be present but we ours were in school so it wasn't necessary for us. She asked us if we had any questions and we started with those and it was so nice to finally get a clear answer! I recommend having a paper lying around that you can write down a question every time you think of one because it is hard in the moment to remember all the questions that have come up during the wait. Then she asked us some specific questions I am sure will come up with your own case worker

  1. What are your reasons for fostering?
  2. Explain yourself (physical image, personality and how you think others view you)
  3. Explain your spouse  (we both explained ourselves and then we explained each other)
  4. Short term and long term goals
  5. Hobbies
  6. Responsibilities of the home (who does budgeting, who does the dishes, who cooks)
  7. Daily routine as a family from getting up in the morning to going to bed
  8. She asked about animals in the home and their personalities and temperaments
  9. She asked what our age preference was and was very supportive actually of our decision (we said 0-3)
  10. How many kids we were comfortable having (we told her 1, which she also was supportive of and I was worried they'd pressure us to take more) 

I have heard that sometimes at the first appointment it is more a time to meet and greet your case worker and ask your own questions without a ton of questions being asked of you, so I think every case worker might do the fist part differently. I asked her a question in my kids bedrooms but she wouldn't have walked around our house otherwise. She did say that when she checks the house its called a "safety check". 

We scheduled my one on one interview for a week later and I will be talking to her about my life personally childhood to present day and our marriage. 

Being prepared helps me not to be as anxious for new "scary" things. When searching I never found clear answers, just a broad overview of the whole home study process, so I hope this helps those of you out there like me that want more details!

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