The S.A.F.E. (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) homestudy is a standardized assessment tool used by all Ontario adoption practitioners to assist in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each adoptive family. The S.A.F.E. homestudy is transferrable between public, private domestic and international agencies. The homestudy process ensures that families develop a good understanding of important parenting and adoption issues and that they are ready for the long term commitment adoption requires.
The homestudy begins with a 1 ½ - 2 hour consultation to help you learn more about your adoption options and about the assessment process. The homestudy will likely take about 3 - 4 months to complete, depending on how long it takes to collect all of the paperwork, how often the interviews occur, and if there are any complicated issues. The paperwork includes medicals, police clearances, child welfare agency clearances, reference letters, and financial information. Several interviews follow the initial consultation. Some interviews are conducted individually and some are done as a couple. Any children in the home will be interviewed if they are old enough and adult children outside the home will be contacted. The homestudy process is an opportunity to explore why you would like to adopt, to find out more about your background history and to talk about parenting strengths and skills as well as adoption issues. The adoption practitioner helps to determine your readiness and suitability to adopt and to ensure that you receive the appropriate education and training about adoption.