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I guess it would be best for us to start looking to start over if we were to go through a Texas agency. Our previous homestudies were expressly for TN, so those studies probably wouldn't be in the format TX needs. ARGH! There is so much to think about and process!!!

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Our FULL homestudy ran us $1000 I think.

-A

Ours was $1,000 + mileage. Post visits are $150 each + mileage.

Cathy

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I guess it would be best for us to start looking to start over if we were to go through a Texas agency. Our previous homestudies were expressly for TN, so those studies probably wouldn't be in the format TX needs. ARGH! There is so much to think about and process!!!

Not necessarily! There are social workers here who work on TX standards for those of us going through Abrazo. They would be more than happy to "get you up to date" I'm sure!

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  • 3 months later...

Bumping this up for a friend ;)

Be sure read the entire thread (I know you will :P Hehehe), there is alot of good info here. The most recent posts are probably more up to date.....

Stork, can you please tell us if there is any new info to be added to this list?

And here, again, are the current requirements and topical areas that must be included in EVERY homestudy and update for all Texas placements through Abrazo:

Homestudies which meet the standards of Abrazo and T.D.F.P.S. (Licensing) must be done by a licensed MSW and include five (5) in-person contacts held on at least three (3) separate days.

Interviews must include at least one documented interview with each individual applicant, two or more additional joint interviews and one with the entire family and with collateral contacts as necessary; a personal home inspection must also be completed. There must also be an individual interview with each child in the home age 3 or above, and with any other persons (domestic staff, boarders, relatives) living with the family in that home or residing on the premises.

Collateral contacts (with references and each adult and/or noncustodial child of applicants) must also be documented.

A copy of the homestudy worker's vita/resume as well as applicants' marriage license, any divorce decrees, birth certificates, criminal/child abuse clearances, and birth certificates/adoption decrees for any other child/ren already in the home must accompany completed homestudy.

Topical categories which must be specifically cited in each original study/update are:

1) Dates of each interview/visit

2) Applicants' feelings about their parents and childhood, including any abuse/neglect and resolution of same

3) Quality of the marital and family relationships, including a review and documentation of the marriage license, and information on any previous marriages, divorces or deaths of former spouses; also assess stability of the couple's relationship and strengths and problems and how these issues will relate to an adopted child; also assess quality of relationships between applicants and their biological children living in or out of the home and how any issues will relate to an adopted child.

4) Expectations for adopted children, including plans for ongoing adoption education and age-appropriate exposure to birth information, feelings about birthparents and plans for ongoing contact, future goals for child's development and progress, child discipline and adoptors' willingness to adhere to Texas prohibitions against corporal punishment. Include assessment of appliants' knowledge of child development and child-care experiences.

5) Applicants' motivation for adopting and social worker's assessment of the applicants' motivation and its effect on their ability to accept and parent an adopted child.

6) Documentation that applicants' ages are appropriate to age/developmental needs of child being sought; applicants must be at least 21 and homestudy must include legal documentation verifying this.

7) Verification of applicants' income and financial management history including employment histories, debt loads/assets, insurance coverage and post-placement employment plans

8) History of applicants' residence and documentation of citizenship status including length of time at each residence (citing street address, city and state) over past 10 years, available community resources for childrens' needs, immigration record/s, discussion of home health/safety standards, and verification that the physical home environment is appropriate for good childcare

9) Documentation of applicants' infertility status if applicable, and parental ability to resolve fertility issues to accept and parent a child not born to them

10) Attitudes of extended family concerning adoption including discussion and assessment of their intended level of involvement in childcare, attitudes towards adopted children and acceptance of the adoption plan.

11) Results of criminal clearances and child abuse registry checks for all household members over age 13: FBI clearance is now required as well.

12) Confirmation of 3 collateral (reference) checks personally conducted by homestudy worker

13) Homestudy worker's professional evaluation of the physical, mental and emotional health status of all persons living in the adoptive home including substance abuse history; social worker must observe these persons for any indication of problems and follow-up with professional evaluation when indicated, documenting information obtained through observations or through a physician's statement.

14) Sensitivity to and feelings about children subjected to abuse, neglect, separation from and/or loss of their biological families for applicants open to toddlers/older children. Assessment of applicants' sensitivity to and acceptance of child's relationships with birthsiblings, and applicants' reactions to child's feelings about birthparents and possibility of future contact between child and birthfamily.

15) Review of attitudes about religion including applicants' church involvement and willingness to provide child opportunity for spiritual development and guarantee health protection if parental religious beliefs prohibit certain medical treatment

16) Affirmation of family's intent to honor diversity and maintain child's cultural and/or ethnic identity with citation of specified plans for family exposure to child's ethnic community and integration of cultural tradition into family lifestyle

17) Review of support systems available to adoptive family and and assessment of what support they may receive from these resources.

18) Language(s) spoken by each adoptive applicant.

19) Proof of vaccinations and any needed treatments for pets in the home.

20) Applicants' ability to work with/accept specific kinds of behaviors and backgrounds. Limitations of prospective family with specification of those characteristics, backgrounds, or needs the applicants cannot accept.

21) Homestudy worker's certification of applicants' readiness to adopt, as well as documentation of the number, age, race and gender (if applicable) of child/ren for whom the home is approved

22) Citation of any disabilities of applicants and evaluation of impact upon parenting abilities

23) Telephone numbers for official entities where complaints regarding study may be filed.

24) Background information from prior child-placing agencies/social workers that previously completed any studies on applicants (for adoption or foster care), including information related to parents' experience and performance as foster/adoptive parents for the previous agency, and copies of such screenings, any deficiency record/s and resolution, and current fire/health inspections

25) Homestudy worker's credentials which must include a master's degree in social work or human services and 3 years child-placing experience with a licensed facility.

NOTE: Any omissions will require additional written addendums, necessitating additional effort and time on your part and ours, so please: be thorough! In Texas, original studies are valid for six (6) months from the last interview date. Should placement not occur within six months of original study, updates must be done by meeting all household members in the home within 30 days prior to placement to review and update each of the 25 categories, documenting same in official update forwarded to Abrazo. All updates and addendums must be submitted prior to matching and placement.

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I guess it would be best for us to start looking to start over if we were to go through a Texas agency. Our previous homestudies were expressly for TN, so those studies probably wouldn't be in the format TX needs. ARGH! There is so much to think about and process!!!

Not necessarily! There are social workers here who work on TX standards for those of us going through Abrazo. They would be more than happy to "get you up to date" I'm sure!

I saw this, and obviously you were correct! Our hs update was done in a VERY short time, so anyone else (or maybe I'm the only one) that may have thought this...it can be done!

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Stork, can you please tell us if there is any new info to be added to this list?

I can answer that-- at present, Texas Licensing hasn't added anything, so shhhh! Don't give 'em any ideas! :P

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  • 1 month later...

Just a quick question for those of you who live in another state other than TX.

We love the person who did our homestudy.We have talked to her about doing our update, but they will charge full-price for the update, due to all the things that they have to cover and it has been over five years since our last homestudy.

I know that TX only requires an update since we already have a homestudy on file in TX and they say you can't have a brand new homestudy if you already have one on file.

I had a social worker contact me today who can do the update for $800 dollars less than the one we had planned to use.

I guess this is my question...TN says our homestudy is outdated and we need to have a new homestudy done, but TX law says we only need an update. If we only do the update will TN hold-up our inner state compact clearance? One person told me in order for ICPC to clear, we have to go by TN laws and TX laws.

We were gone for so long last time because of paperwork, I don't want a repeat as much as I enjoyed my time in TX.

I really like the cost of the update ($400) compared to a brand-new homestudy($1200)

Hope someone can understand my ramblings... :rolleyes:

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Hope someone can understand my ramblings... :rolleyes:

Makes perfect sense to me and I'd like to know the answer too as if we do look at adopting again someday, we may be in the same scenario.

I'll be talking to our TN social worker this week and will see if I can ask her the question to get her perspective.

Thanks,

Adam

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Melissa, what did the SW that offered to do the update say about it? I'm not sure about how it would all work, but you are doing a great job of staying on top of things! I hope it works out that you can just use the update!

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Melissa,

I did speak with our social worker today, and used myself as an example if we were to adopt again in a few years.

(I told her the scenario and that I would share her information as an unofficial statement, but she said, it should be fine as she feels comfortable in her information)

"Ah, Good Ole Texas. They are about as thorough as it gets when it comes to adoption requirements. :lol:

Typically the 'cut-off' for Tennessee is 5 years. If it's been 5 years or more since your original full homestudy was done, you will need a full homestudy to be compliant with the state standards. If it has been less than 5 years (say 3-5 years), a homestudy Update will suffice. You could do either though since it has been a few yeasr.

If you are less than 3 years, all you need is the Update. A full homestudy would be an added expense you don't need to incur"

So, if you are less than 5 years since your first full homestudy was done, you should not experience any ICPC issues between Tennessee and Texas if you if have a thorough Update performed (Update meeting Texas standards). "

Our social worker is a licensed TN Social Worker and an Abrazo mother :) .

Hope that helps. But, just to play it safe, I still suggest clearing it with the agency/social worker that will be doing your update & post placement visits.

Good Luck,

Adam

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Thanks!

I think we are going to stick with the social worker we had planned to work with before I was contacted by the new one. She too is an Abrazo mom and is hoping to join the ranks of Abrazo againer soon.

We know her very well and she did our first homestudy.

Thanks again!

M

P.S. Your social worker comes to our annual reunion every year, she is very sweet person! :)

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Happy to help and Thank You for raising such a good question. It might be applicable to many Abrazo families who could potentially be Againers one day. :)

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So I have a question about the 5 visits, held over 3 distinct times --

Does this mean that one visit could be 1) joint 2) Bill only and 3) Susan only and this counts as 3, and then there are two more separate visits?? How many visits are required by Texas to be in the home? In VA, only visit has to be in the home, but I have some memory that Texas requires more than one home visit...

Finally, thanks so much Melissa and Adam for the traffic about full homestudies and updates. We are just starting our homestudy process again for #2 and I need to check again with our social worker. So much has changed in 3 years for us -- new home, new community, new jobs, Tasia is here, new agency doing our homestudy, etc... that we may need a whole new one. It would be nice if we only need an update!

Susan

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So I have a question about the 5 visits, held over 3 distinct times --

Does this mean that one visit could be 1) joint 2) Bill only and 3) Susan only and this counts as 3, and then there are two more separate visits?? How many visits are required by Texas to be in the home? In VA, only visit has to be in the home, but I have some memory that Texas requires more than one home visit...

So much has changed in 3 years for us -- new home, new community, new jobs, Tasia is here, new agency doing our homestudy, etc... that we may need a whole new one. It would be nice if we only need an update!

As Abrazo againers, ALL you should need is a series of individual and joint interviews done in your home on ONE day within 30 days prior to your next placement date, with all household members present!

So much as we appreciate your diligence in trying to get things done ahead of time, those who've adopted through Abrazo before already have an original homestudy and therefore need only an update done within a month of their next due date! So relax (and go shopping, instead!) :)

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So I have a question about the 5 visits, held over 3 distinct times --

Does this mean that one visit could be 1) joint 2) Bill only and 3) Susan only and this counts as 3, and then there are two more separate visits?? How many visits are required by Texas to be in the home? In VA, only visit has to be in the home, but I have some memory that Texas requires more than one home visit...

Finally, thanks so much Melissa and Adam for the traffic about full homestudies and updates. We are just starting our homestudy process again for #2 and I need to check again with our social worker. So much has changed in 3 years for us -- new home, new community, new jobs, Tasia is here, new agency doing our homestudy, etc... that we may need a whole new one. It would be nice if we only need an update!

Susan

Susan,

Double check w/ your homestudy agency.

You know Virginia & the wacko laws...

xoxo, Amy

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It seems we are not so lucky, Elizabeth! It looks like Virginia requires a full new homestudy. This is the word from the agency down here that is working with us this time around. I am getting a second-opinion from the agency that did our homestudy in 2005 in hopes that it is not true! Oh well, guess I cannot go shopping yet... ;)

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P.S. Your social worker comes to our annual reunion every year, she is very sweet person! :)

Sorry, I just saw the P.S.

She is indeed. Beth commented the other day "When we are finalized, I'm really going to miss our meetings with Kay"

We'll probably run into her anyway as Trina, the Director of the agency she is working with, is a good friend of ours :) We may even run into Kay next weekend at a baby shower we were mutually invited too.

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  • 8 months later...
I wanted to clarify the number of visits required. We lived in PA when our original homestudy was done almost 3 years ago. I have spoken with several social workers in GA and we will need a complete home study; however, GA only requires 4 visits. Do we need to have 5 visits as we did in our previous home study or since we are againers can we go with the GA requirements of 4 visits? HELP!![/ Edited by dbernados
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Arghhh!!! The disparity between state adoption requirements drives me NUTS!!! Texas is unreasonable when it demands that original homestudies "expire" after six months, and other states are unreasonable when they insist on charging for repeated "original" studies (meaning effectively that they collect a whole new homestudy fee for what essentially is an overly-extensive update.) Be that as it may:

    * If you are doing an update on an original homestudy, then the document would be titled "Homestudy Update" and requires just one day of face-to-face interviews with all household members (yes, kid/s included) in the home within 30 days of the anticipated placement date.

    * If your state is making you do a whole new "original" homestudy for a placement occurring in Texas, then the document would be entitled "Homestudy" and would require five face-to-face interviews (joint and individual, with all household members) done within 6 months before any anticipated placement date. These interviews would need to occur on or across at least 3 separate days and cite each of the required topics specified under Texas law-- in addition to any differing requirements of the "receiving state" in which the study is being done.

However-- if I were a parent adopting again through Abrazo and getting quoted the price for a whole new original homestudy after having already made that investment previously and elsewhere, I would personally contact my state's adoption licensing entity or Compact officials FIRST to request permission to do just an update, given the fact that all the legal work for my placement and finalization is occurring only in Texas!!!! That one phone call could save you hundreds of dollars if you get someone to give you a "yes" in writing.

(And you people thought only tax officials could make paperwork requirements so obtuse?!) :rolleyes:

Sign me: I Don't Make These Crazy Rules, I Just Help You Follow Them!!!!

P.S. Donna-- be sure to read through this thread as well.

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Donna I had the same thing happen where the social workers were telling me that they had to do the home study according to Oregon rules but Abrazo specifying Texas rules. Finally I called the ICPC office for Oregon - way back in May of this year right after orientation. They really helped clarify that because the finalization takes place in Texas NOT Oregon that Texas law rules.

I know we sign things with Abrazo saying we swear never to contact ICPC officials but that only applies to ICPC time. :)

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Thanks for the information! I did finally get in touch with a local social worker and he said that I would only need to do an update... :lol: Thank the Lord!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I posted this on the Piggy back thread but thought it might be relevant here. I was a sorta-kinda-in-a-way-but-not-really tweener so don't know all the "official" rules.

Do you have to have your homestudy completed before Abrazo sends calls your way / shows your profile?

Don't know why this question has been on my mind but thought I'd get it out there to answer since there are about a million smart women on here that know the rules (who all rock oddly enough..maybe there is a "rocking" requirement in the homestudy for Abrazo also? ;) LOL!)

Nat

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I posted this on the Piggy back thread but thought it might be relevant here. I was a sorta-kinda-in-a-way-but-not-really tweener so don't know all the "official" rules.

Do you have to have your homestudy completed before Abrazo sends calls your way / shows your profile?

Don't know why this question has been on my mind but thought I'd get it out there to answer since there are about a million smart women on here that know the rules (who all rock oddly enough..maybe there is a "rocking" requirement in the homestudy for Abrazo also? ;) LOL!)

Nat

Uh oh Natalie....something on your mind????? :huh:B):D;):P Care to share??? :ph34r::ph34r::ph34r:

;) Jenny ;)

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I believe you have to have your homestudy complete before you can take phone calls or have your profile shown.

If you only need an update as you and I both did the second time around you can take calls etc.

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