Only on FOX5: Behind the scenes of completing a home inspection before becoming a foster parent
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Now more than ever before, Clark County needs foster parents. These are people like you, who provide a temporary place for kids to call home but before a child can be fostered, there are several steps that need to be completed.
On Tuesday, we showed you what the initial 9-week training course looks like.
Now, FOX5 continues to tell you about the process with the home inspection part.
Clark County officials tell us they’re trying to diminish the stigma. They said some people are so afraid of an inspector walking through their home, it keeps them from even signing up to become a foster parents.
Licensing worker Joann Cervin breaks down what to expect when she comes into a home to inspect. For 8 years, home licensing inspector Cervin has been doing what she calls “informal home tours.”
They ensure foster kids enter safe and comfortable environments.
“I am looking out for safety, doing home inspections and assessing them while they are doing their home studies,” said Cervin.
Page Patten just completed her training. She said the classes get foster parents prepped and ready.
“You get introduced to the worker who is eventually going to do the home inspection,” said Patten. “I think meeting that person at the same time as going through the classes really helps you feel prepared.”
Cervin said she tries to make the process as painless as possible.
“Not only do I email them in writing some policies and procedures, I also email them some tips and tricks on how to make your home compliant,” said Cervin.
“The licensing worker that I am working with, he came early on in my process of getting prepared and he walked through the whole house with me and helped me understand what needed to be changed,” said Patten.
Cervin broke down what she looks for when conducting a home inspection.
“Areas that we touch on for home safety for license foster homes is smoke detectors and they do have to be in working condition,” said Cervin. All medications whether they are prescription or vitamins will need to be locked up. We check under every sink in the home to see whether to see if there is chemical storage.”
Cervin said the inspection is not to make clients feel as if they are jumping through hoops, but simply to make sure it’s child-proof.
“Because they just want so bad to help and then they feel like they might be being judged and I want to take that stigma away that we are not judging them. we are simply there to assess the safety,” said Cervin.
“You have to check off a lot of boxes but it is really doable,” said Patten.
The home inspection is not like passing a test, where you pass or fail.
“I simply write it up as a deficiency and request that you correct the deficiency,” said Cervin.
Joann said they generally visit home twice but can go back if necessary. They’re required to inspect homes annually and provide support visits if foster parents need them.
“I think the fact that everyone involved whether it is the teacher of your class or your licensing worker, everyone is there to support you and set you up for success,” said Patten.
The end goal of fostering is to get them reunited with their biological parents.
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Clark County said the number of successful home inspections depends on the number of people who submit required paperwork to then be assigned a licensing worker and complete a home inspection.
This year to date, Clark County’s department of family services has licensed 150 homes.
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