The Adoption Homestudy Service Agency FAQ

  1. Tell us a little about the founding and development of your organization?
    The Adoption Homestudy Service Agency (AHSA) was formed in 2000 because the agency’s Director, Iona (Patricia ) Rose initially worked as a case worker for The Department for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in Rhode Island for 5 years and was touched by adoption through working with families on her caseload. After leaving the agency, in 1996, she began working as an independent contract home study provider for DCYF as well as for a few private adoption agencies in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. In 2000, she decided to form her own adoption home study agency in Rhode Island, which she operated through word of mouth, while working full time as a school social worker. Since retiring from the School Department in 2017, she decided to provide home study services on a fulltime basis.
  2. How are your adoption home study and your organization unique?
    It is the only agency in Rhode Island that focuses exclusively on working with families on pre-adoption preparation and post adoption follow-up services. All interviews take place in families’ homes, at a time that is convenient for them, without having to take time off from work .
  3. Why are you passionate about adoption and the home study process?
    I enjoy working with and supporting families as they navigate the adoption process; supporting them through the waiting period until they have a placement; and, ultimately doing post placements after a child is placed with families and the joy of seeing them together as a family.
  4. How long is an adoption home study valid?
    In Rhode Island, an adoption home study is valid for one year.
  5. Approximately how much time is necessary to complete an adoption home study by your organization?
    The average time is approximately within a six to eight week time frame.
  6. Can adoptive parents use a home study completed by your organization to adopt a child born in another state?
    Adoptive parents can use home studies completed by TAHSA in Rhode Island as well as in all other states.
  7. If you complete my home study, do you also have to complete my post-placement visits?
    If we complete your home study report, we would prefer to also complete your post placement visits because we would like to offer support from the start of your journey through the adoption process to the end when you receive a placement and your child is placed in your home. However, you also have the choice to contract with another agency to complete your post placement visits.
  8. How many post-placement visits does your organization require?
    This varies since Rhode Island requires two post placements the number of post placements ultimately needed depends on the requirements of the state in which your placement occurs or the requirement of the country that you adopted from.
  9. What is some advice you can give to potential adoptive families about the home study process? What should they be prepared for?
    The process requires time, patience and flexibility but the end result is rewarding and fulfilling.
  10. What do your home study social workers look for in a home and a family when they visit potential adoptive families' homes?
    Social workers assess the physical environment of the home (physical safety, environmental/hazards, up to code, cleanliness, room to accommodate a child, accessibility to services, etc.) Social workers also assess the families readiness to parent.
  11. Are you Hague accredited, and if not, does your international home study comply with Hague International Standards?
    The agency is not Hague accredited but all home studies comply with Hague International Standards, as we work as an Exempt Provider in conjunction with Hague approved agencies.
  12. Do you have experience in completing the home study and working with international placement companies?
    Yes, since 1996 I’ve been completing International Home Studies for agencies that provided International placements prior to the inception of this agency in 2000. Between 2000 and 2014, I completed home studies for families adopting internationally through a US placement agency and for families adopting independently or directly in-country. During this time I also continued to work as a contract worker completing international home studies for placement agencies in Massachusetts and in Rhode Island. Since July, 2014, after the Hague rules changed I have been completing international home studies through the agency as an Exempt Provider, while also working as a contract worker to complete International Home Studies for other placement agencies that provide International placements. To prepare families during the home study process, I direct them to access Hague Approved online training courses as well as reading books. For support services, I also provide information to direct families to International Clinics; Counseling Services that provide services to families with children from specific countries (in the child’s language) if necessary; translation services for families that need documents translated or interpreters for children.
  13. Are there other services and benefits you would like to share about your company?
    The services are very personalized and supportive of all families. As the Director of the company and an experienced social worker who is also of a different race and culture, It is very natural and comfortable to work with all adoptive families, while preparing them and helping them to truly understand what it means to incorporate an adoptive child and or an adoptive child who is of a different race/culture into their family.

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