FORENSIC HOME STUDY CUSTODY EVALUATION

FORENSIC HOME STUDY

What can you expect if the court has ordered you to have a forensic home study completed? First be aware there are two types of home studies. The first type is referred to as a Brief Home Visit. The brief home visit last typically less than an hour. The living conditions in your home are evaluated. The Brief Home Visit allows the living conditions in your home and neighborhood to be evaluated. The court wants to make certain that there is adequate living and sleeping space, food for the children in your home. The court wants to ensure that your home is clean and safe for your children.

The second type of home study is called an Extended Clinical Home Study. The same information is gathered as in the Brief Home Visit, and in addition, the Extended Clinical Home Study will include observations and interviews with the family members. This home study can last from three to six hours. Interviews can be conducted with anyone living in the home. The family is required to stay in the home during the home study.

Once the home study is completed a report is written that integrates the information gathered during the home study. This report is supplied to the court and to the representatives for each party.

Home studies can be anxiety provoking for the family members. It may feel as if the evaluator is there to judge you and your home. However, it is important to remember that the evaluator is there to determine that the environment is safe for the children. Ultimately the court wants to ensure that the children are safe, adequately cared for and loved.

You can prepare for your home study by making sure that your home is clean, neat, and tidy inside and out. Have adequate food and beverages for the children in the refrigerator and cupboards. The home should be appropriately safe for the age of the children that you have in your home.

Dr. Ferrick may be contacted via phone (480) 405-4160 or at drmarshaferrick@gmail.com to schedule an appointment.