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Social Worker Insights on Home Studies

There’s something about company coming over that makes you see your home in a new light. Dishes that haven’t been done in a week, toys left on the floor, clothes strewn all over the bedroom floor. Things that, on any other day, would be part of the natural decor. Yet, with expected company, there’s a frenzy of clean up and giving the house an extreme makeover.

A similar sense is associated with a social worker coming to conduct a home study. The very thought strikes fear and evokes anxiety in the hearts of many prospective adoptive parents. Preconceived notions that everything needs to perfect or they will fail, shattering their dreams of adoption.

Here are some insights from social workers regarding home studies.

No White Glove Test

Growing up, whenever company was coming over, my parents had my sisters and I clean the house within an inch of its life. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning windows — the works. Afterwards, my father would inspect our work, scraping any residual particles of dust from the bookshelves or pet fur from the furniture with his fingers and assigned a redo.

Rest assured — social workers do not have this expectation. A good impression and a tidy house is appreciated, but perfection is not required. So, if there’s a stray book or two laying around when the social worker arrives, don’t stress. Social workers want to meet you as you are and how you live life on a day-to-day basis. There is no white glove test.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Never, under any circumstances, lie to the social worker. Even if it seems like a good idea at the time, and you think it’ll make you look better. With all the paperwork and research they do throughout the process, it will come back to haunt you.

Social workers are trained professionals, easily able to detect behaviors associated with lying. So, be completely honest. From beginning to end, no matter what. Again, social workers want to get to know you as you are. Lying will only have a negative impact. Honesty truly is the best policy.

Have a Positive Attitude

Relax. Be yourself. Try not to be overcome with the worries, doubts and fears. Smile, and enjoy the experience. The home study is just one small part of the whole adoption journey. It isn’t the end of the world. Social workers are not out to purposefully fail you. Quite the opposite, actually. They are there to be an advocate for you. It is their job to assess your life, and discuss all the ways you’ve prepared for adoption, for the best interest of both you and the adopted child.

Be Prepared

Social workers love when prospective adoptive parents are prepared for their home visits. It shows them that you are truly invested in the adoption journey and willing to cooperate with them throughout the process. Prospective adoptive parents who either come with questions or ask questions during the home visits are appreciated as well.

So, don’t be afraid to express concerns or ask for further clarification. Refresh yourself on the role that the social worker plays and how they can assist you. Study up on what a home study is, and what documentation you’ll need to gather before the home visits begin.

Always be prepared.

Adoption Choices of Nevada

Everything we do is non-judgmental and cooperative at Adoption Choices of Nevada. Our compassionate, understanding caseworkers are all trained professionals with many years of experience. Several of them are adoptive parents themselves.

 If you have any questions or concerns regarding the home study process or adoption itself, please visit our website or call us. We can be reached at 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.



“Preparing for Your Home Study: Suggestions From Adoption Social Workers.” Adoptions From The Heart, 2 June 2015,

Wolf, Jennifer. “How to Ace Your Child Custody Evaluation.” Verywell Family, Verywellfamily,

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