If you have jumped into the adoption or foster care process, the home visit interview is coming! Don’t be afraid, if you want to adopt or foster those kiddos, you have to do the home visits, but they’re the best thing for you and the new kids. The social worker wants to make sure you’re ready to invite those new kids into your home and create a friendly, safe, loving environment for them. Of course, you know about regular childproofing, but there are a few things you might overlook that the social worker may be looking for. Here’s what you can do to be extra prepared.
Get Down On The Floor
It doesn’t matter if you’re getting babies, toddlers or older kids, they’re all more likely to be lower to the ground more often than you. There are probably a lot of things on the ground level you overlook. Go into each room and sit down on the ground. Look around at your surroundings. Are there alcoholic beverages stored on the pantry, in low wine racks or low cupboards? Move them up high. Are there bits and bobs of things babies can get into under the furniture or couch cushions? Is the floor itself or baseboards in need of repair, sometimes there are carpet tacks or screws you won’t notice, but baby knees will. Just be aware of how your home looks from down on the ground, and you’ll have those extra details cleaned up in no time.
Check the Water and Electrical
How hot is your water heater turned up? If you only have adults in your home now, you might not notice that the water heater is turned up. Go out to that closet and turn it down to 110 or below. Your showers will be a little bit cooler, but kid baths will be much safer. Check out the electrical too. You don’t want to check just electrical sockets, but appliance and computer wires that may be frayed. While you’re at it, install some nightlights in the new kids’ rooms and on the way to the bathroom for your convenience and theirs.
Get the Pets Ready
Now’s the time to think about your pets. They get into habits too. Indeed, it’s better to redirect habits before the kids come to make sure everyone is comfortable. Make sure dogs know to not jump on visitors. Teach them the basic commands like sit, stay, lay down, and leave it. It will be essential when controlling them when the kids come. Kitty litter boxes should be out of main living areas where the cats know. Small animals like birds, fish, and guinea pigs should be in safe, secure environments that keep them out of harm’s way.
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Once these things are done, you’ll feel better about moving in your new family members!
For more information on Fostering or Adopting, be sure and contact us.