NY Licensees ONLY - Best Practices in Home Study Assessment

In Part 1 of this two-part webinar series, experienced social workers outline the most critical parts of a comprehensive home study assessment and provide their expertise on best practices.

Ann Cleary, LCSW - California Branch Director, Holt International 

Carolyn Cain, MSW - Social Worker, Holt International

Gary Sampson, LICSW - Central California Adoption Social Worker, Post Adoption Coaching and Education (PACE) Supervisor, Holt International

After attending this webinar, professionals will be able to:

  • Describe best practices for the stages of a home study process, including documentation gathering, in-person interviews, home inspection, and making a professional assessment and recommendation.
  • Demonstrate best practices for social workers’ engagement with pre-adoptive families, including building rapport and assessing motivation to adopt and expectations for their child/family.
  • Give examples of how the home study process can be tailored to the type of adoption prospective parent(s) is pursing: private domestic, foster care, or intercountry adoption.
  • Give guidance on collaborating with other providers during the assessment, such as agency staff, medical providers, employers, mental health providers, etc.
  • Consider the importance of appropriately educating prospective adoptive parents during the home study process.
  • Identify critical steps in preparing prospective adoptive families for post adoption during the home study assessment.

Course level: Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced


In Part 2 of this series, an experienced panel addresses best practices for responding to complex situations that arise during the home study assessment. Experts in the field discuss how to best assess dynamics within the prospective adoptive family, and provide the education and training needed to adequately parent in unique situations.

Deborah Fields, MS, LMHC - Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Agape Adoptions

Amber Lewis, MS, LPS - Oklahoma Director of Social Services, America World Adoption Association

Sophia Gardner, LMSW - Senior Manager of Pre and Post Adoption Services, Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children

Amy Imber - Executive Director, Connecting Hearts Adoption Services

Emily Marshall, LCSW-C, LICSW - International Program Director, The Barker Adoption Foundation

After attending this webinar, professionals will be able to:

  • Describe best practices for engaging families at the beginning of the home study process and assessing motivation for adoption.
  • Demonstrate best practices for social workers’ assessing historical factors that families may enter the process with; such ass criminal history, substance abuse history, chronic mental health issues and/or recent grief and loss. 
  • Give examples of how the home study assessment and required education can be tailored to prospective parent(s) hoping to adopt multiple children, children with medical needs, older children and/or relatives. 
  • Give guidance on appropriate use of supervision in complex cases, as well as how to guard against worker bias and employ cultural humility.
  • Identify characteristics and self-care practices that foster resilience in home study social workers, when working with families and children.

Course level: Beginning, Intermediate


Training Agenda: Home Study Best Practices

Part 1 (120 minutes)

  • Intake and Engagement
  • Managing Written Documentation
  • Home Visits & In-Person Interviews
  • Professional Recommendation/Approval

Part 2 (90 minutes)

  • Engaging Families
  • Historical Family Factors
  • Required Preparation for Special Cases
  • Cultural Humility

Post Test


Cost to register: $30 

If you are a NCFA member, look for your discount code in the membership portal.

National Council For Adoption is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0681. Social workers completing this course receive 3.5 contact hours.

This course is for NY social workers ONLY. If you are NOT a social worker licensed in New York, do not complete this course for continuing education credit. Instead, visit the CE course here.

In order to receive contact hours, attendees must participate in the entirety of the recorded webinar training, have their attendance verified, complete a course evaluation and complete post-test with at least 80% correct. Upon completing these items, attendees will receive their contact hours certificate of credit to the email address provided at registration.

Other Questions? For questions, concerns or to request special accommodations, please contact us at ncfa@adoptioncouncil.org or 703-299-6633.

Click here  to register. Once registered, you'll be redirected back to this page and you will click on "Part 1" below to get started.

NY - Best Practices in Home Study Assessment03:30:00
Part 1 02:00:00
Part 2 01:30:00
Part 1 & 2 Evaluation
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