Foster Friday: Home Studies, Health Inspection and Bedroom Reveal
We're in the home stretch of our foster parent licensing! Step four of the process is our home study, the health inspection...and more paperwork!
Hey, ya'll! We had our final visit for our home study this week with our licensing counselor. Last week, we spent just over an hour signing all kinds of paperwork and going through our packet with her. She walked around the house and inspected the room we plan on using for our foster child(ren). The only suggestions she had were that we get a set of bed rails, just in case. We immediately ordered a set off of Amazon and solved that problem. Although the room didn't have to be fully set up for our first visit, we wanted to get as much done as we could so our licensing counselor could make any suggestions before our final visit.
Two hours after she left, we had our health inspection. The inspector checked the conditions of the kid's bedroom and made sure their bathroom functioned properly. He also verified that we had a fire extinguisher, checked to see if we had a thermometer in our refrigerator and tested the temperature of our hot water. His role is to make sure that the house itself is in working order and inhabitable.
A week after our first home study, we had our final home study with our licensing counselor (LC). We sat down and went through a huge binder full of charts, forms, guidelines, contact information, etc. You name it, it was in there. I think I even saw Queen Elizabeth's family tree in there at some point.
Our LC spent about 90 minutes going over the book with us before doing our final home inspection. She took photos of absolutely everything; our tagged fire extinguisher, our emergency evacuation map, our locked closet, bedrails, car seats, strollers, and every single room in our home, including the garage.
There were a few things that I found that were interesting:
1. Our LC pulled the 911 Dispatch Report to see if we have had an incidents at our home. We haven't ever called 911 but 3 months before we moved in, the previous owners were burglarized.
2. Not only did all chemicals, medications and alcohol have to be locked up but we also had to lock up any paints that we kept stored in our garage. Our LC told us that even wine had to be locked up. We informed her that if she could find us a kid that was capable of opening a bottle of wine, we'd take eleven of them. Haha.
3. We did the normal things that parents to do baby proof their homes ie; buying cord windups for the blinds, safety plugs in all of the electrical outlets and protectors for the corners of tables. She didn't make note of any of that.
4. I had no idea they would be so serious about getting all of the references back! We had to provide them with 7 references. 3 personal references from non-immediate family members, 2 neighbor references and references from each of our employers. 2 of our personal references didn't return the paperwork so our LC attempted to hunt them down. When she wasn't able to get ahold of one of our references via phone, we had to turn over an eighth name.
5. Even though the paperwork and everything is done on our end, we're still about a month out from our first placement. Our LC has to turn in our documentation to her supervisor, then it goes to Department of Children and Families to be reviewed.
When we tell people all of the hoops we've had to jump through for this license, they think it's crazy. I mean, I get it. When you're dealing with other people's kids you have to make sure all of your t's are crossed and your i's are dotted but how many people do you know that lock up their Windex and house paint?
We spent quite a bit of time getting the kids room ready before the visit so that everything was set up when our LC got here. Here's a look at our future foster kid's room.
My parents gave us one of the cribs that they had at their home for my nieces. We picked up some gender neutral (grey and white herringbone) bedding at IKEA. Due to safety reasons, we cannot have bumper pads or any additional cutesy stuff in the crib.
Since we are open for 0-5 year olds, we have to have a bed available as well. We already had a single bed set up in Ashley's fan cave. I reached out to my friends at Sleepiphany and they provided us with a brand new mattress which I will be officially reviewing this weekend.
Spoiler Alert: It's freaking amazing!
Ashley picked out the bedding while we were at IKEA. I didn't like it at first because the woodland animals all looked like they were at a wild ecstasy party, but it's grown on me. I think it's great for the gender neutral look we were going for.
We bought a new cube bookshelf for the room and added these cute little storage bins to it to keep odds and ends in. Hopefully between the drawers under the bed, the closet and these little guys we'll have enough storage space.