What should I expect during my home study to become a foster parent?

home study

Becoming a licensed resource parent can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. There are many questions during the application process,which can take up to six months on average. Once an initial foster care/adoption inquiry is done and you have attended a group engagement meeting with the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (CP&P), you are given an in-depth application to complete. When that application is accepted,you are assigned a Resource Family Support Worker (RFSW) and the home study begins, followed by pre-service training. As you go through this process, remember that embrella is here to assist you. You can contact our Information Line at 800.222.0047.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the next steps after applying to become a licensed resource parent.

What is the home study process and why do I need it?

The home study process provides a chance for evaluation and a mutual assessment of whether CP&P and Office of Licensing (OOL) requirements can be met and a resource family home license issued.

The evaluation and assessment are considered to be mutual because both you and the CP&P staff will be able to use what you learn during the home study to determine if foster care and/or adoption are right for you. The home study used is called a SAFE Home Study: Structured Analysis Family Evaluation. It consists of a number of components, and each must be completed before a licensing recommendation can be made.

What information does the home study include that can be used to make an assessment or evaluation?

The home study reviews:

  • · Personal references
  • Background checks (criminal history and child abuse/neglect)
  • Questionnaire I (given along with the application) Keeping You Informed
  • Questionnaire II
    • Please note: Questionnaire II explores sensitive areas and is designed to ensure a child’s safety. All information provided by you, and those you use as personal references, is kept confidential.

As the home study is being completed, you will begin preparations for pre-service training.

What is the purpose of pre-service training?

The purpose of pre-service training is to prepare you for the role of becoming a temporary parent or an adoptive parent for a child who has been abused and/or neglected. The training is mandated by the state statutes governing foster care and adoption and must be completed in order to be considered for a resource family home license. The training is referred to as “pre-service” because it is intended to be completed before a prospective resource parent actually begins to care for a child in foster care. It’s important to note this is not a parenting class, but an opportunity to learn about CP&P policy and how it will apply to you as a licensed resource family.

What training will the Resource Family Trainer (RFT) present?

The trainer will present a standardized pre-service training program known as Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE). The training totals twenty-seven hours and is generally presented in nine three-hour sessions.

The sessions are as follows:

  • Session One: Connecting with PRIDE
  • Session Two: Teamwork Towards Permanency
  • Session Three: Meeting Developmental Needs: Attachment
  • Session Four: Meeting Developmental Needs: Loss
  • Session Five: Strengthening Family Relationships
  • Session Six: Meeting Developmental Needs: Discipline
  • Session Seven: Continuing Family Relationships
  • Session Eight: Planning for Change
  • Session Nine: Making an Informed Decision: Taking PRIDE

Once you have completed your home study and pre-service training, you are on your way to bringing a child into your home.

Please note: You will receive an overview of FAFS’ services during your PRIDE training.

Author: Craig Dudek, Digital Content Creator

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