…More on Home Assessments, Custody Investigations, and Home Studies

by Linda Michie

It has come to my attention repeatedly that many people who are involved in custody matters in other states are being asked by the court for a report concerning their home and lifestyle, and they have no idea where to turn. No one in the local court system performs this duty, and social services only conducts investigations in their own city. Adoption Agencies only conduct home studies for adoption. Making things more confusing, since no one really seems to know what to call this type of service, judges are using different words to describe the same thing. I’m seeing orders for:

  • Custody Investigations
  • Home Investigations
  • Home Studies
  • Home Assessments
  • Custody Studies

First, let’s take the term “Home Study” out of that group. The Home Study is generally used for Adoption. There are fingerprint searches, CPS registry checks, DMV reports, physician statements, recommendations, proof of animal vaccinations… etc. etc. The base fee for the home study is $2,000.

Courts in custody matters aren’t generally seeking all of that information. They’re usually just looking for an impartial professional to visit the home and family and produce a report that will help them get an idea of what type of environment the family has to offer the child. Wishing Well calls this a home assessment. I include photographs of the family, the home, and the child’s room in my reports so the judge can see the atmosphere that he or she could potentially be choosing for a child. I interview each family member and produce a report. The fee for the home assessment is $500. There are additional charges for travel if the home is more than an hour away from Virginia Beach. Home assessment can always be scheduled immediately, as in some matters there is little time to get this information before the judge.

So regardless of whether it’s called a home study, a home assessment, a home investigation, a custody investigation, or a custody study, please call Wishing Well at (757) 739-2118 and let us help you sort it out.


Linda Michie

Linda Michie

Executive Director and Founder at Wishing Well Adoption & Family Services
Linda Michie holds a Master's degree in Urban Studies, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University.
Linda has worked in the child welfare field since 1999 and is a Licensed Child Placing Agent.
Wishing Well assists in domestic adoptions in the state of Virginia, and provides parenting coaching, and supervised visitation in Virginia Beach, VA.
Linda Michie

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