Tips For Florida Residents to Identify Expert Senior Home Care Providers

If you are searching for someone to take care of your parents or other senior members of your family, then you need to know how to find your way to the right home care providers. The state of Florida has many options, but you need to filter them well before making the final choice. Home care providers for citizens need to be more than just trained. They need to be compassionate and understanding enough to take care of a senior member of the family, as per patient wishes and the wishes of their families. So what makes a home care provider just average and what makes him excellent? Well the answer lies in the list of functions that a home health care provider must perform. Here they are: They need to help and assist seniors with normal every day activities. * They need to cook for the seniors too. * Take care and stabilize the patient in case of minor problems. * They will also take up general housekeeping activities like laundry, cleaning, trash removal and other things. Be on the alert and ensure complete safety for the seniors under their care. * The health care provider must be compassionate enough to form a genuine bond with the patient as well the family. This allows for effective communication too. * Follow complete patient confidentiality, unless advised against it. * Have a proactive approach and understand beforehand what the patient may need emotionally or physically. These are the basic requirements of a good senior home care provider. There is one thing that is the most important in the list after medical training. They must have the human touch and must be compassionate towards the patients. They must not treat them mechanically, but should try to warm their hearts and help them get better on a psychological level. They need not be qualified counselors, but they can simply talk to their patients, share their views on general things, and basically make the senior member feel loved and cared for. They must demonstrate compassion, love, caring and thoughtfulness. They must have an inbuilt desire to help people heal better and faster. They must not make the patient feel awkward and a burden on their family. Instead as expert caregivers, they must instill a feel good factor in their senior patients. You must look for home health care providers that are committed and dedicated to their work. They must be ready to help out the patient anytime of the day or night. In other words, they must make themselves available in their best professional manner, whenever the patient or the family needs their assistance. A home health care provider when hired by a family will show a respectful attitude towards the situation as well as the family members caught up in it. They will take a sympathetic and understanding approach towards the hardships the family or patient faces on an everyday basis. Another thing that makes a home caregiver stand apart is their creativity. Great home care providers are highly creative and come up with new fun things to do so that the senior patients remain engaged and entertained. Being busy is a great way to focus the mind on better things and get over the trauma of illness faster. Interesting activities also improve their quality of life and improve a situation, and helps the senior patients to gain comfort and independence. Keep all these functions in mind when you look for someone to hire for senior home care. Florida has many such providers, and you have to fine comb through them to pick the best one. Published at:

Home Care Tips For Florida Based Seniors With Alzheimer’s!

Alzheimer’s is a terminal disease that gets worse with time. At present close to 5.4 million in the United States are battling with the condition. Florida has a huge number of Alzheimer’s disease patients and listed below are a few tips about Alzheimer’s caregiving. One in 40 Floridians suffers from Alzheimer’s. By the latest numbers, there are about 523,000 Alzheimer’s patients in Florida, making up 10 percent of the U.S. total of about 5.4 million. Most of these patients are looked after by home care providers and the entire caregiving routine can be made much more productive with certain creative steps. Spending the day- One important concern that caregivers need to address is- what should they indulge their patients in once the routine tasks of bathing and eating are over. To keep the seniors busy, caregivers must look for new activities. While listing the things to do, as a care provider, you must remember to build on previous skills that the person has. This is a better way than spending time and energy in teaching something new. Be patient and give them simple things to do using their current skills and abilities. Tell them very clearly what you want them to do and how can they do it in steps. Do not forget to praise them for every step completed. Step by step process is easier for them to understand as well as perform the activity better. If they are showing signs of agitation or frustration with an activity, then drop the exercise and take up something they like. Addressing Communication Concerns- A senior suffering from Alzheimer’s is deteriorating mentally every day. That is why communicating with them is very difficult. Always speak clearly and use short sentences and simple words. Always call them by their names so that they hang on to the memory of who they are known to the world as. Make sure you have their full attention before speaking something. Use a soothing and calm tone and do not elongate your sentence. Get to the point quickly so that they can comprehend easily. Never use a baby voice, as an elderly loved one can get upset at this. Whatever you do, do not make it seem as if you are patronizing the person. When telling them something, keep the TV, radio or any other distraction turned off. When they respond, listen carefully and let them have their say before you reply or interrupt them. If they are struggling with words/sentences or even in assembling what they want to say, then assist them gently. Take a very clear and positive route of communication. Feeding the Patients- Seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s have a lot of trouble eating and drinking. They have huge variations in their diet every day. Some may want to eat all day, while some may feel like not eating at all. Whenever they are eating, make sure the food is healthy and the environment around the house is calm and not noisy at all. Allow them to focus on the meal completely. Give them small portions of food and make drinking easier by using straws and cups with lids. If they like to snack, store the snacks in their plain sight so that the seniors know where they can get them in case they forget where things are. Keeping them active through the day so that they can be put to sleep easily at night is also an essential tip for senior home care Florida has quite a few home care providers and they are skilled in every manner to take care of elderly patients with Alzheimer’s. Published at:

Questions to Ask Before Signing Up For Home Health Care in Florida

Home health care is increasingly being chosen by Florida residents as a comfortable, cost effective option to recuperate or undergo medical treatments. However, there are certain questions you need to sort out before you can sign up for home health care. Many elderly people opt for home health care in the place of staying in the hospital. It is more economical for the family as well as more comforting for the senior citizens to know that they are residing in their home; in familiar surroundings. Presently there are many types of medical treatments that can be done in your own home. These treatments done at home are as effective and successful as those given in a hospital or medical facility. Home treatment is less expensive and more convenient. This is evident from the fact that recent surveys done by leading American authorities reveal that ninety percent of older Americans want to stay in their own home. Being in their own home allows the elderly to be as independent for as long as possible. Also, as per the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging in Washington, D.C., elderly citizens feel better, healthier and younger in their own homes and are able to receive assistance and medical care right at home. All these comfort and familiarity factors added to cost effectiveness makes home care a popular choice among elderly residents and their families in Florida. Also, the wide variety of services that can be provided at home has made home care a viable choice too. Some of the most common services one can get at home are: * Personal care and mobility help * Transportation * Meals * Communication needs like using the telephone or emailing * Medical care in the home by a licensed health care providers Before your hire a home health care provider, you need to get a few questions out of the way so that you hire the right person. Some of the general questions that you can ask these people are: * What are the different types of services provided by you? * Please specify the training your staff has received. * What are the quality standards followed by your team? * What will you say about your skills and abilities? * What is the length of experience you have in this field? Once you are satisfied with the first round of queries, you can shortlist the top few from the list and then go on to the more detailed and intricate queries. Here is some of the information you must gather from the heath care service providers: * Will you plan specific duties and my care giving routine based on the Doctor’s home treatment advice? * Are you willing to consult my wishes and my family members regarding my care plan? * Will you provide me with a complete list of the services you provide matched against their prices? * Will your team help me in finding, investigating and materializing funding options for my care? * Will you help me prepare and submit my claims to my insurance company? * When can you give me a written estimate of the services I will be given and their costs? * Are you available any time of the day? Any day of the week? Will I be able to rely on you for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week care support? * Is your team of caregivers professionally licensed, bonded and insured? This is a list of questions you must ask a Florida based care-provider whether they are located in West Palm Beach or Broward. Home care service provider you finally choose must be skilled and reliable enough to do the job sincerely and compassionately. Published at:

What Florida Residents Need to Know About Choosing Home Care Providers?

In Florida, there are many home health caregivers. Choosing one from among the long list can be a difficult decision for you to take. You are putting your loved one in their care, and for this you need to be sure of their expertise. Florida has many home health caregivers, and you have to hire the best one for your needs. The process of finding the perfect and trusted and skilled home health care providers begins with the research. Look around and make a list of several providers. Now you will need to rank them against a checklist of essential features, you are expecting from your caregiver. This checklist is your quick and accurate way of learning more about their services and reputation. What is their experience in years? How long have they been in the caregivers business? Are they organized enough to have a detailed material explaining about themselves, their eligibility, fees as well as the services they offer. Do they inform the patient of his rights too by giving them a detailed “Patient Bill of Rights”. This bill is a reference point for both the patients as well as caregivers. Do they share more information about themselves, like their annual reports and stuff? More on their work culture. How do they choose and train their staff? Do they get benefit packages? Does the caregiver firm have employee benefits like written personnel policies and malpractice insurance? How do they evaluate a patients’ home care needs? Do the nurses do it, or do they consult the patient’s physicians and family members? This is one of the most important points in the checklist. If they devise a care plan and schedule, then do they ask the patient or the family while formulating the plan? A recommended caregiver will formulate a plan after consultation with the patient or his family members so that the patient receives the maximum comfort. Ask the caregivers, if they have the patient’s course of treatment documented. This means that the specific tasks that are carried by professional caregivers separately, then are all these changes documented. Does the patient or family receive a copy of this plan? Is the family informed of any changes in the plan? They must take out time to explain the family and the patient as well about the care they will be given and why. What about emergency services? Will they be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week? All through the treatment, how will they ensure patient’s confidentiality? Then ask them about their payment plan. Make sure it is a written one with all costs and payment plans clearly explained. Get references- One often forgets this, but it is highly important. Ask the home care provider to give you their references from doctors, patients or their family members, and even the prominent people in the community, who know about the caregiver and the service quality. Once you get the references, call every one of them and confirm. Ask for the feedback of people who have hired their services in the past for senior home. care Florida has many such health care providers, and you have to ensure all checks against all these points, so that you hire a reliable caregiver. Published at:

Understanding Home Care in Florida

Do you have a loved senior member of the family who needs to be treated at home? Is there a family member who is recuperating from a surgery at home and needs care? Then you have to opt for home care providers. Who offers these services in Florida and what all do they encompass; is discussed below. In Florida, industry associations define home care as a variety of health and social services. Professional care providers serve the recovering, disabled, or terminally ill individuals in the comfort of their home. The services provided by these care providers include medical, nursing, therapeutic treatment as well as assistance in daily every day activities. You must opt for home care if the loved family member does not want to, or can’t be treated anywhere else. Also, if you have budget constraints, then in some cases home care is an excellent option. With home care you will be able to provide your family member ongoing care that cannot easily or effectively be provided solely by you or the rest of your family. Young people who have had some sort of treatment or are recuperating from acute illness also choose for home care as they heal faster in loving and secure home environments. Some older people who want to live independently and away from any sort of institutionalized life also opt for home care. They usually opt for live in companions who help them with daily life activities as the elders’ own physical capabilities diminish. Senior family members with terminal diseases like Alzheimer’s feel safer and happier in the comfort of their homes. For the older people, the main purpose of home care is to receive compassion and maintain dignity at the end of life. Now that you know in which cases home care can be adopted, let us talk about the many benefits of home care. If you choose to hire a home care provider, you will see the costs come down drastically from being treated at a nursing home or medical facility. Home care can reduce the length of hospital stay and save money over the course of an illness. The biggest benefit is that feeling of being independent and in charge of things that comes with being cared for in one’s own home. People dealing with illnesses do not feel reclusive or cut off from the whole family. In fact they continue to function as viable members of the community. Opting for home care for your loved family member will work as a binding force for the rest of the family. The younger members will realize the importance of staying healthy and making the right health choices. The sick member will act as a center point of communication between family members drifting apart in the daily humdrum of life. There are various types of home care services available. You need to ask your medical care provider about the right home care needed for your family member. Then work on the duration and type of home care provider you need to hire. You can choose from: Registered Nurses, H.H.A’s/C.N.A’s and Live-in Companions. These care providers are all trained and licensed and they can serve as companions, provide respite care, and assist the individual with transportation, shopping assistance, meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry and other chores. There are many home care providers that offer reliable assisted living facilities. Palm Beach County and other areas of Florida are serviced by such companies. All you have to do is find a care provider renowned for their dedication, professionalism and commitment to compassionate service. Published at:

Why Go Through a Home Care Agency When Finding the Right Caregiver?

For many people, being able to properly care for your parents at home is a privilege. Sometimes, we watch our parents to stay close to us in their old age so that we can look out for them. Other times, we just want to know that whatever happens to them, they are receiving the best care possible. Still, most agree that caring for the aged comes with an exorbitant amount of obstacles that requires tending to their motion and cognitive disabilities and this all can cause a lot of anguish and struggle for people without the right caregiving experience. In some instances, family member care providers that deal extremely difficult older members feel guilty when the time comes to put them into assisted living. And yet being able to provide senior care services to your older parents help to keep them feeling important and loved.

Finding the right place with the right people who know how to provide elder care services can be daunting and extremely expensive! Even if you heard of an institution with stellar reviews, the costs per month can rise up to over $10,000!

The question comes down to who should take care of your dependent senior and how do you find them? Even if you wanted to take the time to find the perfect caregiver, sometimes work or children or some other aspect of your life takes up too much of that time. And that is why home health care agencies can be very helpful for families.

What are some of the top services that home providers offer?

• Activities of daily living that takes care of all their daily needs such as bathing, feeding, transferring, doctor visits, grooming, etc.

• You can select the level of involvement that a home helper | senior caregiver will have on your parent.

• A billing department that can work with your payments, including long-term care insurance payouts.

• By the end of the day, everyone is happy and living together as a family where love is shared both by the young and older generation.

If you find yourself in such a predicament where you do not want to have your loved one institutionalized but at the same time you lack the resources to take care of them, remember that home care services can add to your loved one’s quality of life and to keep up with the news when finding the right one.

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Tips in Buying the Best Florida Home

Planning to settle down in Florida? Then it is wise to pick the best home that will fit perfectly with your lifestyle, as well as your needs for comfort and convenience. In fact, Florida is home to many prime residential properties that you can acquire for your very own; but you need to address certain factors that will determine the type of home you will be getting and avoiding any problems and regrets with it later on.

Financial Aspect

First and foremost, you need to settle your finances before you go out to purchase a residential property in Florida. In truth, some of the most luxurious and elegant homes in the region are quite expensive for an individual to purchase using their own financial resources.

To address this factor, you might need to resort to mortgage loans for your Florida home acquisition. There are practically hundreds of financial lenders in different parts of Florida that can help you out. Pick one out offers interest rates and payment terms that fits perfectly with your budget. You might want to take care of your credit scores and give it a little boost if you want to get the best offers regarding mortgage loans.

Picking Out A Location

If you have successfully covered the financial aspects of home acquisition, you need to choose a location in Florida for your family home. When searching for a city, either through local listing or on the Internet, you need to consider the following factors that will affect your decision:

o The architectural designs of residential units in a specific location in Florida

o The prices of these real estate properties

o The amenities found in the property (furniture, fixtures, and so on)

o The facilities that you might possibly need in the vicinity (schools, hospitals, recreational and entertainment facilities, government agencies, and so on)

o The ambience of the neighborhood that you plan to settle down in.

Let Others Do It For Your

If you are still new at this sort of thing, then it would be a great idea to look for a real estate agent to help you out. For starters, real estate agents are experts in the business. They have assorted contacts and affiliations in real estate agencies around Florida and have access to listings of different residential property on sale.

Aside from helping you look for a home in the location you wish to settle down in, provided that you gave them your home specification and budget range; these individuals can handle all the negotiations between you and the seller to expedite the process. They will also take care of the legal documents and paper works necessary for successfully closing the deal. All you need to do is sit back and relax, while waiting for them to hand you the property in a silver platter. — Florida Residential Real Estate

Vanessa A. Doctor from Jump2Top – SEO Company

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Why This Year Will Be a Difficult One For Florida Home Insurance

If you’ve enjoyed the last three mild hurricane seasons in Florida, get ready for a rough year ahead.

To begin with more rate increases are on the way. Depending on where you live, you will be facing increases of up to 10% from Florida’s largest insurance company of last resort. Private Florida homeowners insurance companies have received rate increases in the range of 10-15%.

Those rate increases might not concern you. But they are happening during one of the worst economies in our lifetime. In addition, Florida recently passed Texas with the highest home insurance rates in the nation. So a 15% increase could be a very nasty surprise on top of an annual premium that is already high to begin with. Finally, while these are average rate increases, expect to pay a lot more if you live in South Florida Counties such as Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach.

Homeowner insurance policy cancellations will continue to occur in Florida during the coming year. The largest private Florida home insurance company recently received approval to cancel 125,000 policies over the next two years. Late last year, another national carrier received approval to drop 60,000 policies. Again, there could be a lot more cancellations in major areas such as Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach especially for older homes and homes close to the coast.

Watch for fewer discounts in the coming year. Fewer discounts will add to the 10-15% rate increases that have already been approved. The discounts your company might be discontinuing could include discounts for never having filed a claim or those associated with buying more than one type of insurance coverage from that company. Last but not least, Florida home insurance companies are concerned about the wind mitigation discounts you get for replacing your roof or installing hurricane shutters. If they are successful in challenging those discounts in the upcoming session of the Florida legislature, you could end up paying a lot more.

Homeowners insurance companies in Florida are beginning to fail at an alarming rate – especially since there have not been any hurricanes in the last three years. In the last twelve months, three companies ran out of money and were taken over by the state. In the last year, over 50% of all active homeowners insurance companies in Florida lost money. As a policyholder, you probably could care less about that. But you will if these companies don’t have enough money to pay your claim after a major hurricane.

Finding multiple companies willing to cover you is going to continue to be difficult during the coming year. Besides the fact that the larger companies are continuing to cancel policies, new companies are not being created fast enough to pick up the slack. The hardest homes to find coverage for are older homes, coastal homes, and wood frame homes. It will also be difficult to get coverage in the sinkhole prone counties of Pasco, Hernando, and Hillsborough.

All of these developments mean that you should expect Florida home insurance to cost more this year while it continues to be hard to find. Even worse, you could pay high insurance rates and still end up with a company that won’t have the money to pay your next Florida hurricane claim.

Now more than ever, it is essential that you don’t buy Florida home insurance just on price. If you do, the only one you can blame if you don’t get paid after the next Florida hurricane is yourself.

Michael Letcher is a Fortune 500 executive and a licensed Certified Public Accountant. His on-line guide can help you find low cost home insurance in Florida. Learn the secrets to affordable home insurance in Florida at: =>

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Florida Home Insurance Companies Losing Money in Good Weather

Your Florida home insurance company should have been getting stronger during the past three years of mild hurricane seasons. However there is more than a 50% chance that it is not.

Despite this recent period of mild hurricane seasons, the financial stability of many Florida home insurance companies is facing serious trouble. Over half of the companies actively writing new business in Florida lost money during the past year. Three companies failed completely and had to be taken over by the state. One of the companies that failed wrote new business exclusively in the 12 most southern coastal counties in the state. Why are these companies failing and why is it that so many companies are losing money?

For starters, Florida home insurance rates have been held artificially low by the state for the past three years by the legislators. While it has been politically popular with voters to do this, low rates have contributed substantially to the poor finances of these companies. Florida’s state run insurance company – the largest company in the state sets the benchmark for rates in the market. Because it does not charge enough for the coverage it offers, private companies are forced to keep their rates lower – whether they are losing money or not. Newly formed companies that take policies out of the state run insurance company have to price their policies at or below the state run company virtually guaranteeing that they will lose money from the start.

There has also been an increase in non-hurricane claims and reopened claims from prior hurricanes. The tough economy is a factor because anyone who experiences a loss when times are tough is more likely to file a claim in the present environment. Florida home insurance companies are also experiencing more fraudulent and suspicious claims at the present time. This fraud can involve filing a claim during normal rain storms in order to get money to fix an outdated roof. It could also include suspicious fire claims along with theft claims from home burglaries that include high value items the homeowner never owned. Finally, there has been a rise in new and re-opened hurricane claims from the storms of 2004/2005 which led directly to the collapse of one company that had exhausted its reinsurance coverage.

Last but not least, investment income is way down. Florida home insurance companies are constantly looking for ways to generate a safe return on their surplus funds. That’s not easy for fund managers to do with the poor condition of the financial markets. Rates of return on low and risk free investments are way down in this slumping economy with low interest rates. Finding places to invest surplus cash with higher rates of return could result in unacceptable risk levels. After all, it isn’t acceptable for a company to tell you that it can’t pay your claim because it lost your money in the stock market.

Your first reaction to the poor performance of these companies might be one of very little concern. After all, why should you care if an insurance company makes money? Even if you are the biggest hater of insurance companies ever born, it is still important for your company to make a reasonable profit – especially in years when there are not any hurricanes. Those years are supposed to be the time when these companies take in a lot more in premium and pay a lot less out in claims. The fact that this hasn’t happened for most companies should be sending out alarm bells across the state of Florida.

You’ve been told that big insurance companies are evil and maybe some of them are. But it is the newest, smallest home insurance companies that can’t make money in these mild non-hurricane years. These companies are the future of Florida home insurance. If they don’t make even a bare minimum amount of money during non-hurricane years, don’t expect them to be around to pay your claim after the next Florida hurricane.

If you are trying to find a new Florida home insurance company, now is not the time to be buying on price. You have to do your research. If you simply buy the lowest price policy, you’ll be the one struggling financially if your company goes out of business and has to be taken over by the state.

Michael Letcher is a Fortune 500 executive and a licensed CPA. His on-line consumer guide can help you find affordable home insurance Florida. Learn more about affordable home insurance Florida at

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Pre Divorce Planning – Steps to Take to Keep Control of Your Estate Plan Until last year, it was customary for a matrimonial attorney to advise his or her client that the last will and testament he might have previously executed might be changed as a result of the entry of the Judgment of Divorce. This was necessary because the law provided that a disposition to a former spouse or the naming of her as a fiduciary of the estate would be automatically revoked once the divorce was final. The repeal in 2008 of the old law and its replacement by a much more comprehensive statute has changed the way divorce planning will be done in the future. Before the change in the law, dispositions to the former spouse other than by will were unaffected by the divorce. For example, a divorce did not revoke lifetime revocable trusts (including Totten Trusts), life insurance policy beneficiary designations, joint tenancies, or a power of attorney given to a former spouse. In light of the widespread use of these instruments, the failure to treat them the same as the law treated dispositions by will presented a major inconsistency. The new law largely corrects the different treatment. Under its provisions, a divorce or annulment revokes any revocable disposition or appointment of property to a former spouse, including: * A disposition or appointment by will, * By beneficiary designation, * By revocable trust (including a bank account in trust form), * Any revocable provision conferring a power of appointment on the former spouse, * Any revocable nomination of the former spouse to serve in a fiduciary or representative capacity, such as nomination of the former spouse as an executor, trustee, guardian, agent, or attorney-in-fact; and * Joint tenancies between former spouses (including joint bank accounts) and transforms them into tenancies in common. New York case law already provides that divorce converts a tenancy by the entirety in real property to a tenancy in common. The new section also provides for the revocation of a beneficiary designation (to the extent permitted by law) in a pension or retirement-benefits plan, including but not limited to, a stock bonus or profit sharing plan, account arrangement, brokerage firm or investment company account Opportunities and Needed Action A divorcing spouse should now understand that most dispositions and designations to a former spouse will be automatically revoked unless specifically saved by language in the governing instrument. These automatic revocations may result in ineffective beneficiary designations in a variety of circumstances. Therefore, divorced spouses should now take the opportunity to review all of their estate planning documents and revise provisions that are now left without beneficiary or fiduciary. Failure of a divorced spouse to name new beneficiaries in certain instruments could lead to the divorced spouse’s “estate” being designated the default beneficiary. In some cases, such as tax-deferred retirement plans, the failure to name an individual beneficiary could result in severe tax consequences by accelerating the recognition of income to the estate. In addition, assets that were once non-probate property, such as a Totten trust, because they passed by operation of law to the former spouse as the designated beneficiary, may now require a probate proceeding. It also means that estate plans once designed to avoid probate, such as by the use of revocable trusts, may now instead require a construction proceeding to cope with missing fiduciary appointments and beneficiaries. The divorce process can take as much as two or more years to conclude in a Judgment of Divorce. During this period, should a divorcing spouse die, the law treats a divorcing spouse as still married and the adverse party is entitled to all of the rights and benefits of a surviving spouse. The same risk is present, of course, when a couple has simply separated. The separation could last for years without change in the married status of the couple. If divorce is inevitable, there is little reason not to start on the process of revising the divorcing-spouse’s estate plan at the beginning of the divorce action. All of the elements of the divorcing-spouse’s estate plan need review. Of course, any estate tax or income tax consequences of any potential change must be evaluated, as well. This article presents a general discussion of New York law. No action should be taken on any of the matters discussed without the advice of an experienced professional. Stephen C. Silverberg, J.D., LLM is the principal of STEPHEN C. SILVERBERG, PLLC located in Uniondale, N.Y. The firms practice includes estates, trusts, estate planning, tax planning, real estate and bankruptcy. Stephen is a graduate of City College of New York (BA), Brooklyn Law School (JD) and the New York University School of Law (LLM in Taxation). He can be reached at (516) 522-2575, or you may e-mail any questions or comments to [email protected] Readers are also invited to visit the firms website at [] for continuing coverage of this and other estate and trust topics. [email protected] by Stephen C. Silverberg. All Rights Reserved. Article Source:

For families beginning the journey to parenthood through adoption, one of the first steps will be to begin the home study process which is an evaluation of their suitability and readiness to adopt. The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the home study process in Florida:

1. How long does it take? Florida law requires at least one visit to the adoptive parent(s)’ home and it also requires criminal background checks which can take several weeks to obtain so a home study usually will take at least 4 weeks to complete.

2. Does Florida require that the study be completed by a licensed adoption agency? Florida law does not require that a home study be completed by a licensed agency. Florida regulations require that it be prepared by or reviewed and approved by a licensed social worker; however, it is important to know in an international adoption situation if the foreign country requires a licensed agency to complete the home study.

3. Does a criminal conviction or arrest automatically disqualify the parent from adopting? No. Florida law does not have any law or regulation that automatically disqualifies a potential adoptive parent from adopting based on a criminal history. However, it is critical that the study be prepared by an experienced professional who can properly advise the parent of the necessary steps needed to successfully complete an adoption.

4. Must I report a criminal record that was expunged? Absolutely. It is extremely important to be honest and forthright during the process. Further, it is entirely possible that a record that was expunged will nevertheless show up on the criminal record report.

5. Does Florida law prohibit someone with multiple divorces from adopting? No. Florida law is silent on the issue of how many divorces are acceptable. Florida adoption regulation does require that a potential adoptive parent discuss their divorces and this becomes part of the evaluation of a parent’s suitability to adopt.

6. If a family has been approved as foster care parents by the State of Florida, can this be used for an international adoption or domestic private adoption? No. If a family is seeking to adopt either domestically or internationally through a private adoption agency, then a home study must be completed by a licensed social worker or agency.

7. Must a Florida agency or social worker conduct the home study? Yes, if the adoptive parent(s) reside in Florida then it must be completed by a licensed Florida adoption agency or licensed social worker.

8. Does Florida law require that adoptive parents be married? No, single parents may adopt. However, Florida law does not allow gays and lesbians to adopt.

If there are other questions you have about the Florida home study process, you can contact the author for further information.

Candace O’Brien is an attorney and Executive Director of a licensed adoption agency in the State of Florida with over 10 years of adoption experience. For further information visit: or

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