The California Foster Care Home Study

If you are in need of a foster care home study in California, you’ve come to the right place. Only certain adoption professionals are able to provide this service. Here at FCCA, we can guide you through every step of this process ahead of you.

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When you work with our agency, we will help you meet all of the home requirements for foster care and eventual adoption. You won’t have to work with another professional in your journey; you can receive all of the services you need from our trained professionals. We will be there to support you every step of the way.

For more information on these services and starting your fos-adopt journey today, we encourage you to contact our adoption professionals or attend one of our free information sessions. In the meantime, find answers to some of your questions about the foster care home study below.

1. What is a home study for CPS (Child Protective Services)?

A foster care home study in California serves the same role as a home study for an international or private domestic adoption process. It’s a legal requirement that ensures a family is prepared for the challenges and joys of bringing a foster child into their home, and that they can provide a safe, welcoming environment for a child in need of one.

A CPS home study also helps a family’s social worker understand the types of adoption opportunities that would be appropriate for the family. It’s not just an investigation into the family; it’s an opportunity for a social worker to provide support and answer a family’s questions as they prepare for their adoption placement.

2. How long does it take to complete a foster care home study?

Most of the families who complete their pre-placement requirements with our agency finish their home study in around six months. This is because the California adoption regulations require many different things, including:

  • individual interviews with each adoptive parent
  • a home visit with all members of the household present
  • fingerprint-based background checks
  • physical exams for all family members
  • paperwork regarding finances, health, employment and more
  • important documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and divorce decrees

Gathering this documentation and completing these interviews can take time. Because much of these are time-sensitive, you won’t want to start this process until you are ready to begin your overall adoption process (to avoid having to redo steps later on). Working with an experienced adoption professional like those at FCCA will also help to speed up your home study process.

3. How much does a foster care home study in California cost?

Foster care adoption is the cheapest path for families looking to adopt a child. When you work with one agency for all of your processes, your overall costs will likely be lower than working with several different professionals.

At FCCA, your total home study adoption fee will be $1,500. However, unlike other home study providers, our agency includes other services with your home study:

  • Matching services, training and education
  • Finalization services at no charge (no need to pay for a private attorney)
  • Guidance throughout the process
  • And more

If you work with another agency to complete your foster care home study, you may be expected to pay additional costs for these adoption services.

Remember, your costs for adopting through foster care will often be offset by the California adoption subsidy, as well as the federal adoption tax credit.

4. What can I expect during my home study investigation?

One of the most intimidating parts of your foster care home study can be the in-home visits. Always remember this: Your FCCA social worker is here to help you through these requirements and help you to become ready for your adoption. It’s not just a study of your family, but a back-and-forth conversation about preparing for your new addition.

When your FCCA social worker visits your home, she or he will interview all members of your family. They will also make sure you meet safety requirements to bring a child into your home and suggest any changes necessary to create the best home possible for a new child.

In addition to your in-home visits, you will typically complete separate interviews with your social worker at the agency office. This gives us a chance to get to know you better and ensure adoption is the right path for every member of your family. There will be no “right” or “wrong” answers to the questions we ask, just as long as you are honest about your feelings and the adoption opportunities you are open to.

5. Are there any home requirements for foster care after I receive a placement?

Your foster care home study in California must be completed before you can receive a placement. After that, a few additional requirements must be met after a child is placed into your home.

Your adoption will undergo supervision for at least six months after your placement is made, and usually more like 12 to 18 months in most cases. This supervision will include at least monthly in-home visits with the child and all family members, as well as check-ins by phone or email. Remember, when you work with FCCA, your social worker will guide you through this process and make sure all post-placement requirements are met for a successful finalization.

For more information about how our social workers can provide services for home studies for foster parents in California, please contact our agency today.