Final Home Study Complete!

Home Study Phase Complete - Safety Check and Interviews to become a foster parent - MommaMeesh WordPress Blog

I am now complete the application process to become a foster parent! I have completed all of the paperwork, background check, medical check, home safety checks and personal interviews! Now, I wait… up to two months to be officially approved.

Final Home Study Appointment

My final home study appointment was the easiest one, by far! It was not what I expected. My home study worker had mentioned the last appointment would be a personal interview about my parenting and then the final walk through of the house.

The personal interview about my parenting was a lot easier and more vague than I thought it would be. I had thought about different questions she might ask, about scenarios that may come up and how I would handle them, but we didn’t touch on any of that. It was more about what I enjoyed about parenting, what I found the most stressful about parenting, what we do for fun and also touched on how it will work with the kids going to their Dad’s every other weekend while the foster child stays with me (will they be okay with that, what if they want to stay and not go with their Dad, etc.). We also talked more about potential placements and what my feelings were on certain placements and their past. For example, we talked more about FASD and how I am willing to accept children with FASD but would like to sign up for additional training as I don’t have any experience with it. Also, with sexually abused children, we talked about what the “line” was for me since I have two bio children and they will share a bedroom with them. We also talked more about training and gaining “credits.” Whenever I talk courses that relate to parenting I can submit proof of the course taken to my worker to put in my file. I can receive credits for the courses. More credits means I am more specialized and therefore will receive a higher per diem rate.

The final walk through of the house was exactly as expected, we just went over the outstanding items from the first walk through; my TV had to be mounted on the wall, a lock added to the basement door, etc.

The final appointment lasted only about an hour. Half an hour for the personal interview and general discussion, then about half an hour (maybe a bit less) for the final walk through.

Next Step

Waiting… again. Due to the workload right now and the number of home studies on the go, my worker confirmed it would be around two months to receive my final approval.

Once I am officially approved a worker will be assigned to me within 7 days of the approval. Then, the worker has to meet with me within 30 days of being assigned to go over everything. From there, I can receive calls about placements from my worker.

  • Official Approval: estimated at 2 months (brings me to the end of June)
  • Worker Assigned, Meeting set up with new worker: Within 1 month of being assigned… Could be Late July or the first week of August before I meet my worker.

Based on the information given, it looks like I won’t be receiving calls for potential placements until August.

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Home Study #2 – Personal Interview

Home Study 2 - Personal Interview (Becoming a Foster Parent Process) Mommameesh-wordpress-com

A few days ago I had my second Home Study appointment with my Home Study Worker. She came to my house for an interview with me. We did not go through my house like in the first visit, this was just to go over a list of questions. Some Home Study workers complete this at their office; however, my Worker prefers to come to the home for all of the appointments.

The time booked for this appointment is 2 hours, but we were done in just over an hour.

Discussion about Possible Placements

We went over the checklists and forms relating to the types of children I am willing to accept into my home. I talked with her about the age range to get her opinion on the range and she agreed I should stay with the 4-7 age range to keep my son older than the placements. She said some people do not stick to that, but she recommends it. I am also open to taking a sibling group, but it has to be one girl, one boy due to bedroom arrangements and they have to both fall in the 4-7 age range, so that could be tricky.

We also went over the types of behaviours I could/could not accept and why. Most of my “could not” accepts were based on known behaviours that could affect my own children. She was happy to see I had some “could not” accepts as she said some people say they will accept anything, but that usually isn’t truly the case. She let me know being open at this stage is good, but also being honest and sharing things you are hesitant about is what the workers like to hear.

Some of the items on the checklist included special/higher needs and whether I would be willing to accept. My response was not a yes, no or maybe, but more of an explanation. I am willing to take a wide variety of children, but I require:

  • information on the needs and history (as much as they know at the time)
  • further knowledge/education/training available for me, if needed
  • expected amount of appointments that could affect my work since I work full time outside of the home

For most of the items on the list I told her it would really depend on the case. I can’t say a Yes or No for a lot, because each case will be so different. If it is a medical need such as diabetes, I am open to that. If it is a child with FASD, I am also open to that as well, but require more training as I have no experience with it and need more information specific to the child (behaviours, etc.).

She let me know about some training that is available once I am approved, which is great! I intend to take a few courses through CAS about different behaviours and ways to work with children with different needs. Also, she let me know that any courses I have taken in the past three years that relate to parenting I can submit to my worker to put in my file. If I take courses approved (relevant to parenting) it will give me “credits.” Having more training will result in being a more specialized foster parent (higher number of credits), which also entitles me to a higher daily rate. So far I have taken two online courses through the Foster Parent Society of Ontario (Life Books and Safeguarding Your Family) and also attended Mindfulness seminars.

From that she asked if I would be willing to learn special skills such as ASL (sign language). This is something that is very interesting to me, I would love to learn a new language such as ASL, so I am going to look into it. My only concern is the time commitment to learn special skills such as ASL and the fact I am not in a city (so to attend classes, it takes more time to account for travel into the city and takes away time from the kids/requires babysitting arrangements).

Personal Interview

The main questions she asked in this appointment were about my relationships with my family and my ex-husband and about my past. I have a pretty boring, “normal” history and a close relationship with my parents so it went pretty quickly. I also had to list all of my jobs I’ve had since college. I basically just read her my LinkedIn profile since she needed the company name and time frame for each position I have held. She also asked if I had ever been fired from a job (I haven’t, and it seems kind of odd to ask, but I guess going into why a person may have been fired from a job could tell them more about a person).

Some of the personal questions she asked me were:

  • What is your relationship like with your parents now? How often do you see them?
  • What is your relationship like with your siblings now? How often do you see them?
  • What was your relationship with your parents growing up?
  • How did your parents discipline you as a child?
  • Did you suffer any abuse (physical, emotional)?
  • How is your relationship with your ex-husband now?
  • Why did you split from your husband?
  • How often do your children see their father?
  • Will their father be involved with the foster children at all?
  • Do you foresee any problems with the children not wanting to go see their father if the foster child stays with you while they go there?

That isn’t the complete list, but some other questions spawned off of the above questions. Those are the main ones I remember.

What Comes Next?

My next appointment is in about a week and a half. In that appointment we will be going over the items outstanding from the first Home Study SAFE Assessment (such as checking to be sure I mounted my TV on the wall, and that my water heater is turned down) and then doing an interview about my parenting style.

My worker explained it takes up to two months for some approvals because the Workers take notes during the appointments, usually by hand, then they have to rewrite them in electronic form for their supervisor and the applicants to review. The time it takes to enter all of her notes into the electronic document takes the most time. Now though, she is trying out using her laptop during the interviews to speed up the process. It makes complete sense to me, so I was on board. It was her first time trying out her new method and she was a bit worried it would make it more impersonal or distracting but I think it worked fine. Hopefully that means a faster approval once my last appointment is finished.

Next steps:

  • April 21, 2016 – Final Home Study Appointment
  • Home Study Worker writes up all information from all three visits
  • Copy of Home Study report is sent to me to review before being finalized
  • Once the report is finalized, her supervisor will do a final review
  • Final approval is received from her supervisor

Best case scenario: May approval
More realistic scenario: June approval since they are so busy with Home Studies right now


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Revised Checklist – Home Study Review from Worker

Revised Home Study SAFE Assessment Inspection foster parenting adoption application

Today I received the list of items to review from my home study worker based on last week’s SAFE Assessment (home inspection).

The green highlighted sections are things from the checklist that were found to need fix ups or double checking. The purple wasn’t on the SAFE Assessment checklist, but are things I plan to complete before our March 2 appointment.

Home Study 2 checklist - from Home Study 1 list - foster adoption home inspection

Items to review (detail):

  • TV – I forgot about my TV in my last post! It is a flat panel TV and not mounted to the wall. It is against the wall, but needs to be anchored to something (either the wall of the furniture it is on)
  • Water Temperature – As mentioned in my last post my water was 2 degrees too hot when it was ran to its hottest temperature. I thought it  had been on the lowest setting, but it isn’t, so I have to find out how to lower it 
  • Door locks
    • my patio door handle doesn’t lock well right now, so I need to get a new lock or handle for it (my wonderful son decided to lock his sister out one day and broke part of the handle where it locks)
    • the garage and basement both need to be locked at all times since they are only used for storage
  • Blinds – the cords for the blinds were out of reach but I need to pull the cords down and make sure there aren’t loops. We didn’t pull them down at this appointment, she liked that they were out of reach, but I need to check the loop thing since it specifically says that on the list. Also, in the laundry room I had the cord wrapped in a cord holder along the side of the window, but an older child would be able to unwind it, so I have to move it higher.
  • Cleaning Supplies – the cleaning closet I had mentioned in my last post; the supplies are in a closet in my laundry room (on a shelf about the height of my shoulders) but they need to be moved higher to be sure an older child can’t reach them. I am just going to add a lock to the closet door so I can use the whole closet and not be limited in my space for supplies 
    • This item I think depends on the worker as well… I talked to people I had training with and some had the supplies at the same height as me and they were fine (or their worker didn’t even check if they were in a closet and not out in the open – as long as they weren’t under your sink)
  • She didn’t include the vitamins in her email of items, but I have to remember to lock the vitamins away as well in the medicine lock box (they were in the cupboard beside the lock box, inaccessible to children, just not locked up)
  • General organizing of my storage spaces is on my Spring to do list – I might also tackle more basement renos to make it more of a usable space.

Other items on the list – that either don’t apply or I can’t complete right now:

  • Trampoline netting once put back up – I can’t complete this until Spring when we get the trampoline back up. She just noted it to be sure I remember the netting is necessary (probably won’t be put back up until April due to snow)
  • If the gas fireplace in the basement gets used in the future the guard and screening requirements need to be checked. She didn’t look at it since it isn’t used, but noted it in case I finish the basement and start using it.

I am a  bit disappointed about the number of items that are listed, but at the same time, some things I could not have known she would wanted like locking the basement and garage doors at all times since they are only used for storage and the cleaning supplies I thought were at a good height. The vitamins were just an oversight on my part from that morning after giving my kids their vitamins (and she didn’t include that on the official list). The cords I hadn’t worried about since they were out of reach (and out of site).

So now I just have those items to look at and wait for our next interview on March 2 (which isn’t a Home Assessment or Inspection, it is just a personal interview session).

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Home Study #1 (Home SAFE Assessment)

Home Study 1  Foster Adoption Process Home inspection

On Friday I had my first Home Study appointment. This is the second time a worker has been in my home; the first was to meet me, give me an application package and provide information about PRIDE training way back in May.  There will be two more visits for me in this Assessment Phase.

The week of the Home Study there was a lot going on: the kids had a snow day, then my son had the flu for a few days, I had to go to the vet to pick up proof of vaccination certificates for both my pets and the police station to pick up the copy of my police check (both of which are in a neighbouring town) and finish my To Do list for the Home Study. Oh yes, and I had to plan my daughter’s 10th birthday party (which had only one child RSVP by the RSVP date, so I switched it to a sleepover only to have 2 more kids RSVP after the deadline).

Even with such a crazy week I was still excited for my Home Study. It was booked for Friday because that was a PA Day for my children. As part of this appointment the children were interviewed in private with the worker so it had to be booked for a PA Day. I had thought about rescheduling when my son got the flu, but luckily he was good by Friday so we went ahead with it, which was a relief! If we had to reschedule it would have been pushed back to the second week of March during their March Break!

What happened in my Home Study?

When my worker came in the children gave her a tour of the house. Once that was finished she asked if I wanted to start with the Home Inspection or the paperwork. I decided to get the Home Inspection over with since that was the most stressful.

We went room by room and she looked around and noted things as we went. In certain rooms I pointed out where things on the list were (for example, in the kitchen I showed her which cupboard the fire extinguisher was in), other than that she just looked around.

The Home Inspection (SAFE Assessment Checklist)

In the bedrooms she checked that the windows had screens and cords to the blinds were out of reach and did not have loops in them.  In my room I have a desktop computer (for lack of a better spot around the house for it) and I noted that my room is off limits for the kids, it is my space and is not played in. She noted the foster children would not be able to use the desktop in my computer since it needs to be in plain view, but I told her we have a laptop for use in the living room for the kids and the desktop is mainly for me, so that wasn’t an issue. Plus, with my room being off limits they wouldn’t be in there anyway.

In the main bathroom she looked then filled a cup with hot water and tested the temperature with a thermometer. I had turned the water heater down to what I thought was the lowest setting, but the water was 2 degrees too hot, so that is one item on my list to have fixed by the last meeting.

Our second bathroom isn’t used. It could be, but it is at the back of the house through the laundry room and is a tiny powder room, so we just don’t use it. She had a look at it quick and noted that we didn’t use it in her notes. That bathroom may be a future Pinterest project to get rid of the purple sink.. but for now… it stays unused.

In the kitchen she had a look around and then I showed her that the fire extinguisher was in one of the bottom cupboards. I wasn’t sure if she would check my fridge for anything, so I made sure to clean it, but she didn’t look in it. Medicines are also kept in my kitchen in a top cupboard inaccessible to the kids. I showed her my lock box for medications but I didn’t have the vitamins in the lock box at the time, so she noted that (oops!).

In my laundry room she had a look around and noted where my cleaning supplies were. They are in a closet in the laundry room. She would like to see the cleaning supplies in the closet moved up to a higher shelf to make them more inaccessible to school aged children. I may add a barrel bolt near the top of the closet to make it so kids can’t open it. It does not have to be locked and she said it was fine if I just move the cleaning supplies up a level, but the barrel bolt would help make the whole closet inaccessible to children so I can use all of the shelves in the closet. I don’t want to squish them all up high and then have trouble getting to them myself. Also, my Tide Pods were on a shelf above the washer, but weren’t inaccessible enough to older children, so I have moved them into the cleaning closet.

The garage is used as storage and is attached to the house so she had a quick look out there and wanted to know if there were any chemicals, pesticides, etc. stored in there. There isn’t. She looked at the lock on the door to see if I could lock it so the children could not go in there since it was just storage, but it locks from inside the house with a deadbolt (with a thumbturn, not a key) so she left it. There isn’t a man door in my garage going to outside, just the main big door, so I think that helped. She just mentioned to be sure for storage that nothing piles up that could fall over.

My basement is an unfinished mess and also used as storage. It was actually kind of embarrassing having her look around it since that was one item on my list that did not get done (the week of the appointment I had planned on organizing down there, but it didn’t happen).  I am planning at some point to make a bonus room down there for the kids and have started to move things down there, but right now I am far from finishing it!  She looked at my furnace room to be sure nothing was crowding the furnace and then looked in each room down there. Since it isn’t used and is off limits to the children right now she asked me to add a lock to the basement door to restrict access.

My backyard is pretty bare this time of year but we do use a trampoline in the summer and we have a storage shed. Once the trampoline is back up in the spring I just need to be sure it has the netting up (which we usually do since the dog likes to jump on it if the netting isn’t there). She noted what was stored in the shed and asked about chemicals and pesticides again and asked if it was lockable.

All in all I think it went pretty well. She is sending me the list of items to be reviewed at the last Home Study appointment. From what I remember it is just the vitamins being locked away, a lock for my basement door, the water temperature and my cleaning supply closet.

Interviews with my Children

I wish I had more information to share about this, but really all I can say is that the kids took turns and had a private conversation with the worker. They went into their bedroom and I stayed in the kitchen. So unfortunately, I didn’t overhear any thing. From what the kids talked about after, I know she asked why they wanted to foster and what age/sex of the child they were hoping for. I know my daughter showed pictures of her father, but I am not sure if she asked the children anything about their father or that was just my daughter being super chatty (probably just being super chatty and showing the worker everything in her room).

The Paperwork

Once the home inspection and interviews with the children were complete we sat down to go over the paperwork side of things.

  • She went over the check list and reviewed it quick again to be sure we covered everything it had listed
  • I had to show two pieces of ID, one with a photo. She noted down the numbers. I also gave her a photocopy of them for my file.
  • I handed in my Police check (Vulnerable Sector check) and my Medical Report. I also handed in the receipts. CAS will cover the cost of the Police check ($25 for me) and anything above $25 for the medical report. My medical report cost $40, so I will be reimbursed $15 for it
  • I gave her copies of proof of vaccinations from the vet to show both my dog and my cat were fully vaccinated. Even though my cat is strictly an indoor cat, this was still necessary
  • I had to hand in my home work from my PRIDE training. We had homework sheets from each session to complete
  • I have to give the name(s) of who I would have as a babysitter when needed for the foster children. The person (or people) I pick will need to get a Police Check done and my worker will speak with them. I am going to have my Mom and Dad apply for this since they live next door and my children go there before/after school right now.

My worker also asked me why I wanted to foster and if I had any exposure to foster care before this. Other than that it was pretty much just going over the documents to be sure I had everything.

What comes next?

Now I wait until March 2 for my Home Study #2. Due to the waiting list of people and my home study worker going on vacation for two weeks the next available appointment was March 2. It gives me lots of time to finish up things on the list and also get some other items on my own to do list done, it just sucks having to wait that long!

The next appointment is to go over employment history, family history and to learn more about me as a person. She will also go over the Policies and have me sign saying we reviewed them. This was supposed to be part of Home Study #1 but they just added a policy about safe sleeping, so we are doing it all at once so I can review the new policy that was added. (I am sure there is more, but that was the quick summary given to me by my worker). We will also touch a bit on my ex-husband and the divorce as well as his access and involvement with the children – this will also be covered in part in Home Study #3.

The third and final appointment will be about a week after the second and will be to go over my parenting style, ways of disciplining and also go over the items from the first home study to be sure everything is complete.

Some workers have the second and third assessments at the Agency, but my worker likes to have them in our homes for all of them. Also, I think because I am an hour away from the Agency and she does a lot of the out of town applicants, it is easier to complete all of the assessments in the home.

Once the third home study is completed she submits everything to her supervisor and that is who will officially approve me to become a foster parent!

I am hoping by the end of March I am approved, but I am not sure what the timeline is from the last appointment on. My worker says it depends on what the needs are at the time. For example, if they need more adoptive families then I would be pushed back since I am only fostering (not with view-to-adopt). Also, it could be based on the ages of children they are looking for homes for. She feels I won’t have to wait too long since I am looking for school aged children and have the potential to take a sibling group (if they are male/female siblings).

One thing I learned that I hadn’t known: they only place school aged children with full time working parents. It make sense to me and my age range is school aged, but no one had ever mentioned that before.

Also, I learned that my Mom could be approved as a babysitter for the children and receive $5/hour for one child or $7/hour for two children if she looks after them before and after school (my children currently go to her house before/after school).


 

I think that is about all for the first appointment. It was a full two hours long and wasn’t too bad.

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Home Study Prep: Document Review

Home Study Prep - Reviewing Policies and Procedures (Foster and Adoption Application Process) Mommameesh wordpress

Prior to my first Home Study Assessment visit I must read through the 11 Safety Policies and Procedure documents sent over by my Home Study worker. I mentioned them briefly in my post about the “Information Gathering Stage”, but will go in more depth about what they include in this post.

All information is taken from the Information sheets received from CAS as listed below (reference of sheet number is in brackets):

11 Safety Policies and Procedures

  1. Acceptable and Unacceptable Disciplinary Practices (2-170)
  2. Bathtub Safety (4-222)
  3. Child Restraint Car Seats (2-60)
  4. Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Need (4-110)
  5. Effective Communication and Transfer of Medical Medication Information (4-132)
  6. Safe Administration, Storage and Disposal of Medications (4-131)
  7. Second Hand Smoke Policy (2-50)
  8. Serious Occurrences (4-350)
  9. Use of Motorized Vehicles (4-290)
  10. Use of Physical Restraints (2-180)
  11. Water Safety (4-230)

 

Acceptable and Unacceptable Disciplinary Practices 

This document talks about the different kinds of acceptable and unacceptable disciplinary actions by the Foster Parent(s). For me, it seems like common sense for the “Unacceptable” list, but it is great to go over to be sure I am on the same page as the Children’s Aid Society.

Unacceptable:

  • Deliberately harsh or degrading responses (resulting in humiliation or undermining)
  • Taking away basic needs of the child (food, shelter, clothing, etc.)
  • Extensive and prolonged withholding of emotional response or stimulation (after the undesirable behaviour has stopped)
  • Locking the child in a room
  • Threats
  • Spanking/physical punishment
  • Punching, shaking or shoving

Acceptable

  • Positive reinforcement and praise, use of rewards
  • Modelling
  • Routines and limits
  • Clear expectations and follow-through
  • Prompting
  • Brief, gentle behaviour teaching
  • Redirecting/distraction
  • Verbal disapproval
  • Withholding or granting privileges
  • Grounding
  • Time Outs
  • Logical consequences
  • Chores, Assignments, Restitution
  • Negotiating, problem solving, choices
  • Ignoring undesirable behaviour (if behaviours are not harmful to the child or others)

Bathtub Safety

This document is short and reminds foster parents to be present with infants and young children in the bath as children can drown in water that is only 1 inch deep. The use of infant bath seats and rings are prohibited for foster children and children placed on adoption probation.

Child Restraint Systems Policy and Car Seats

This document covers the legal requirements for car seats, as well as additional information specific to CAS Policy. As part of the CAS policy, I am required to take a Car Seat Training course which goes over this information (I will be attending this coming Saturday and will post more about it once complete).

Additional requirements, not regarding the child seat requirements:

  • Where there are side airbags in the vehicle, children should be seated in the middle of the rear seat. Where this is not possible, ensure that toys, blankets, etc. are removed from the area between a child and an air bag
  • Children should not lean against the door at any time
  • All vehicles that are equipped with child safety locks much have such mechanisms activated
  • Where the foster parent is the only other occupant, the child much be in a seat not immediately behind the driver

Foster Home Car Seats – A car seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height will be assigned to the foster home at the time of placement.

Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Needs 

We talked a lot about culture in our training and this document goes over the Policy regarding these needs. It goes over the importance of maintaining connection with the child’s community/cultural beliefs.  Seeking conversions or criticizing other faith groups by foster parents is prohibited.  The First Nation communities and organizations work closely with CAS as well, which was discussed during training.

Effective Communication and Transfer of Medical and Medication Information

This document, although only 4 pages, is pretty detailed. I won’t list all of the details here, but it includes Policies and Procedures for these areas:

  • Child Admission
  • Obtaining and Communicating Medication Information
  • Transfer of Medication for Short-Term Absences
  • Self-Administration of Medication
  • Medical Emergencies during Transport
  • Emergency Admission to Hospital
  • Transfer of Medication and Medical Records (discharges from care, placed with adoptive parents, etc.)

Safe Administration, Storage and Disposal of Medication

This is a separate document from the one above and is longer (7 pages). This along with the document described above are reviewed by the foster parents and Resource Worker annually.

Like the document above, I won’t go into detail as there is a lot of information and specific policies regarding safety and monitoring. It also briefly goes over about when a child refuses medication Here are some points from it:

  • Foster parents are expected to accompany a child to all scheduled medical appointments
  • The child’s worker is expected to attend admission medicals and should attend medication reviews, annual and discharge medicals.
  • Parents are encourages to attend medical appointments at the Clinic particularly medication reviews and discharge medicals, where appropriate.
  • It includes emergency numbers to have on hand (poison control, local pharmacy, Telehealth Ontario) which I have made sure to include on my Emergency Contact List in my Home Binder
  • The policy/procedure for medication incidents (missed dosage, wrong dosage, etc.) is explained as well as for psychotropic medication.

Second Hand Smoke Policy

All foster homes must be smoke free (smoking not permitted in the house whatsoever) or non-smoking homes (no one in the house smokes and smoking is not permitted in the house). Smoking is not permitted in the presence of a child when outside of the home either (cars, attending community events).

Serious Occurrences

This is another very detailed document. Since it is specific to the Policy of the CAS agency I am working with, I won’t go into detail here. Some of the items it covers are:

  • Examples of serious occurrences (fire, police, ambulance, child’s absence, or an event likely to result in significant public or media attention, to name a few)
  • Timelines for reporting and who to report to
  • Allegations of abuse, neglect against a foster parent
  • Investigation outcomes

Use of Motorized Vehicles

This documents is in regards to the use of vehicles other than automobiles such as trail bikes, ATVs, snowmobiles, farm vehicles, riding lawn mowers, go-carts, etc. Being in a rural area, this is something that would potentially come up for our family.

There are a number of conditions that must be met before a child in care can operate any off road vehicles. Some examples of the conditions this document describes are (not all are listed here):

  • safety requirements are met (permits, registration, insurance, helmet and other safety equipment)
  • the child must have resided with the foster home for a period of time in order for the foster parents to be familiar with the child’s personality
  • age, development level and maturity must be taken into consideration
  • child must receive individual instruction from the foster parents on operation of the vehicle
  • foster parents must exercise sufficient supervision (and setting parameters regarding where the vehicle may be driven).

Use of Physical Restraints Policy

Physical restraints are only to be used as a response to immediate safety concerns and not as a “therapeutic holding.” They are never to be used as punishment or to secure behavioural compliance. Also, restraints will only be used after less intrusive behavioural interventions have been considered and seemed to be an inappropriate response to the circumstances.

In order for foster parents to be authorized to employ physical restraints they must successfully complete a two day training program and be recertified annually (Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) training).

This document goes into more detail regarding permitted and prohibited physical restraint techniques (taught in the CPI training program), debriefing with the child and foster parents, and more information on the reporting requirements.

Water Safety

The child’s worker will collect information regarding the child’s background, fears, experiences and swimming abilities to discess with the foster parents. The consent of the parents is not needed for the foster family to involve the children in water activities. The worker is expected to advise the parents that their child will be participating in water activities while residing at the foster home.

Other items covered in this document:

  • Determining if the child in care is a “swimmer” or “non-swimmer”
  • Water safety at guarded beaches in general
  • Water safety at beaches for non-swimmers
  • Water safety at beaches for swimmers
  • Pool Requirements (this is local information)
  • Water safety at pools for non-swimmers
  • Water safety at pools for swimmers
  • Water safety at foster home pools
  • Other situations (water parks, teen outings to the beach)
  • Swimming pool fencing requirements
  • Use of watercraft
  • Children in care as watercraft passengers
  • Children in care as passengers on commercial watercraft (ferry)

 

That is all of the documentation I received to review. All of this will be discussed at my first home visit.

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Home Study – Full Home Safety Checklist

Home Study Preparation Home Safety Checklist - becoming a foster adoptive parent

I have revamped my checklist to go through over the next week while I get my home ready for the first assessment. This checklist is for the first Home Study Assessment.  It has all of the items that are on the list given to me in my application package as well as some added items on the bottom that I plan to do before the Home Study (the original document received from CAS can be found at this link.

The PDF of the document I created can be found here:  Home Study Checklist

Here is a preview of the above link:Home safety checklist to prep for first home study - foster adoption process (mommameesh wordpress com)

Home Study Checklist

Over the next week as I prepare for my visit I will post more information about the items I have to complete as part of the Home Study Assessment. I have the checklist to review as well as a group of documents regarding Policies and Procedures which are reviewed at the assessment visit. We also go over all of my homework items from my nine training sessions. You can read more about my training sessions here.

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Home Study Prep List

Home Study Prep List - Foster Parent - Adopting - mommameesh.wordpress.com

Now that the end of my training is in sight (only 3 more sessions are left!) I am starting to think more about my In Home Assessments. The ball is rolling with the Home Study process and as I mentioned in a previous post, I have completed more paperwork and online training in preparation. Now, I need to focus on the things around my home. I was planning to start this back in September, but decided to focus on the training, homework and paperwork side of things before starting to organize my home for a child.

My plan is to work on this list over the next 2 months to be completely ready. PRIDE training will be complete December 1st, however I have Car Seat training session to attend as well. That is not until Saturday, January 9. My first choice was Tuesday, December 8, but the Saturday course is much easier for me to attend as that weekend my children are with their father. The Tuesday night course requires child care arrangements, which are more difficult to arrange on weeknights.

Over the next couple of months I will be preparing my house for the Home Assessments as well as preparing it for a child with items on hand so once the process is complete we are ready whenever a call comes in.

Here is my most current To Do List:

Home Study and Foster Child Preparations - to do list - mommameesh.wordpress.com

I’d love to hear about what other people did to prep for their home study and their possible children. Or just your experience in general of this process. Am I forgetting something?


This is the Checklist from Children’s Aid Society (Ontario) that was received as part of my Foster Application Package:

Application_Home safety checklist_pg1Application_Home safety checklist_pg2Application_Home safety checklist_pg3Application_Home safety checklist_pg4Application_Home safety checklist_pg5Application_Home safety checklist_pg6


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