What is an adoption home study?
Many families make the decision to open their hearts and homes to adopt a child or children. To ensure that a child is placed in a home that is safe, happy and healthy, the Court, as well as the South Dakota Department of Social Services, require that prospective adoptive parents participate in a home study. An adoption home study is a formal process that is completed to assist prospective adoptive families in becoming approved for adoptive placement.
What can you expect before the home study?
Prior to the actual home visit portion of the study, an intake packet will be mailed to the parents to complete. This packet will include informed consent information that explains the process of the home study, as well as stating what additional documentation is necessary to complete the study. Home studies require multiple interviews with the prospective parents prior to the study, which allows the social worker to learn about the parent’s backgrounds, their parenting styles and the dynamics of their family. Parents will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about the process and Lindsay will then schedule a time to visit the family in their home. Also during the home study process, the parents will also undergo a criminal background check, a check of the sex offender registry, and a screening for child abuse and neglect. The parents will also provide Lindsay with at least three references who are able to comment on their character and parenting skills.
What can you expect during the home visit portion of the study?
Generally, home visits can range from 2-4 hours. During this time, Lindsay is visiting with the prospective parents, interacting with any children that are currently in the home, and ensuring that the home will be a safe environment for the adopted child or children.
What happens after the home study?
At the end of the home study process, a lengthy report is completed by Lindsay that outlines the prospective parent or parents ability to provide a safe and suitable home for the adopted child or children. The report pulls together all the information collected through the in-person interviews, the home visit, the criminal background checks and the character references. Generally, reports are not allowed to be submitted directly to the parents and must instead be submitted to the parent’s attorney, adoption agency case worker, or Department of Social Services case worker. Once the report is formally submitted to the appropriate party, Lindsay can release a report to the prospective parents, or a report can be requested from the parent’s attorney to be shared with them. Once the report is submitted to either the attorney or case worker, it continues on the review process.
Are there additional requirements after the study is complete?
If the adoption is approved, and depending on the situation, there may also be a series of post-placement home visits and interviews that take place at the one month, three month and five month intervals that will allow Lindsay to interact with the children and parents to assess the success of the placement. A report will be completed for each of these visits and at the conclusion of a six month post-placement period, a final report will be sent to the court either recommending that the adoption move forward permanently, or stating that the adoption was unsuccessful.
What credentials are required to complete an adoption home study?
Adoption home studies are required to contain certain information, to include several forms of background checks, and to be completed by a trained and licensed professional. South Dakota requires that a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Private Independent Practice complete an adoption study. Lindsay Bruckner is a Clinical Social Worker who is licensed at the highest level in South Dakota. Lindsay is listed on the Department of Social Services website as a fully credentialed service provider for adoption home studies.
What agencies recognize the validity of an adoption home study?
A home study is a required piece of the adoption process. Lindsay strives to complete a comprehensive study that comments fully on each family’s background, parenting style, family history, and background checks. Lindsay has completed a number of adoption studies that have been used by families working with the Department of Social Services, and working with private adoption agencies.
What areas does Lindsay provide services to?
Lindsay is able to complete adoption studies throughout the state and traveled many times to meet with prospective adoptive families for their initial interview and then to complete the home visit. Lindsay is open to traveling to complete adoption studies and welcomes the opportunity to meet clients from around the state.
What is the cost of the adoption study?
Please contact Lindsay directly to discuss the cost associated with an adoption study. Payment plans are available in the form of paying 50% of the cost of the study upfront and paying the remainder of the cost prior the final report being released. Lindsay is available to travel statewide to complete adoption studies, but does charge $.58/mile from Pierre to the client’s home and $.58/mile back to Pierre.