What should one look for when contracting with a social worker for a home study?

What should one look for when contracting with a social worker for a home study?
Selecting a social worker to complete your home study is similar to a birth mother selecting an adoptive parent. You must look at what the social worker has to offer and select one whom you feel most comfortable with.
Your home study should be an interactive and educational experience. You should feel comfortable sharing information and asking questions of your social worker.
Your social worker must be a New York State Licensed Certified Social Worker. They should be knowledgeable about domestic pre-certification requirements and international immigration requirements as well. The social worker should be familiar with the format of and what specific issues need to be included within the home study report. It should be a well-written documented home study, that is completed within a timely fashion and acceptable to adoption court officials and international officials, if indicated.
Although, it is not necessary to contract with a social worker that is also an adoptive parent, it is a bonus that can not be overlooked. They know first hand what you’re going through. They have experienced the process, the wait and are now parenting in an adoptive family. Currently, adoption professionals are not required to have any formal training or degree to practice in the adoption field. So, to have years of experience and the personal expertise as well, is an asset.
Independent practitioners complete most New York State domestic adoption home studies. A social worker that is able to “convert” the independent practitioner home study to an “agency” home study should the individual or couple change their path is an added benefit. These are the important issues to consider when contracting with a social worker for a home study.
By: Leslie Zindulka LCSW-R of Adoptiondoctors.com