Saturday, January 20, 2007

What Do I Do?

I'm a planner. Maybe you noticed that already? Anyway, I'm looking ahead the next few months of the year and I know that my paperwork will start to expire beginning with the home study in April. It's my understanding that in California the home study has a shelf life of twelve months. I thought I remembered my SW or AWAA telling me that I will need to update it this spring.

So, yesterday I called the home study agency and inquired as to when that process should begin. Turns out that the coordinator who handled my home study last year has left the organization. The new coordinator tells me that I don't need to update the home study except new fingerprints and I can wait on that until August. She sounds young and inexperienced. She also puts me on hold so that she can check with her supervisor. In the end, I'm not satisfied that I've got the right information.

So, after that, I left a message for my SW asking her to call me and clarify the home study update routine, and I emailed AWAA for their input, too.

I just don't want to drop the ball on this end and have to spend more time and money on a new home study.

What do you think?


  • At 9:28 AM, Blogger Glinda said…

    You most certainly should question what she is telling you; while I know states are different, our agency says we will need a new home study that is less than 6 mos. old when we submit your new I-600A and some states require an annual update. Now, since they're in Oregon, my state may only require an addendum/update.

    What rips my knickers is the I171 is valid for 18 mos, but the fingerprints are valid for only 15 mos. Why not make them all expire at the same time...

    Here we go again...

  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Amy said…

    I would have done exactly what you did--contacting AWAA to confirm. Once I got the answer from them, I would then contact the SW again and tell her what the agency said. You don't want to assume you don't know what she is talking about, however, you don't want to screw up anything with your paperwork either. Better to be safe than sorry! Hopefully, you will hear the correct information soon.

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Paulette said…

    This has been on my mind as well and will be keeping a close eye on you as always. Time to start making some calls and see what's up in Nevada.

  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger new girl said…

    I would have done the same thing. If AWAA gives you the same answer as the SW or even a third answer, I would call your SW's supervisor directly. She/he should know for sure.

    I understand what you're going through -- not only did our SW just leave, but our state changed its rules since our home study was completed, and our agency has changed how they enforce the state's rules.

  • At 10:22 AM, Blogger Donna & Joe said…

    We are just now mailing off our payment to get an appointment for re-fingerprinting and the next step is to update our homestudy.

    I would DEFINITELY check further into the answer they gave you. I know it's different in each state, but I can't imagine that you don't have to do anything with your homestudy.


  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger Tamara said…

    Oooh that's tough. You did the right thing trying to clarify. What I learned from the whole process is you get all kind of conflicting and often wrong info so it's good to double check your sources (like you are already doing)

    Good luck- waiting sucks! (so does redoing everything) I don't think I could go through all that again.

  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger jlittlefield3 said…

    I have read that the Home Study expiration varies stste by state. Mine was good for a year then I had to get an update. I just finished submitting all my paperwork for the I 171 H form renewal and am so nervous that I did something wrong.

  • At 10:57 AM, Blogger Janet said…

    I would definitely get verification for that! Seems a little fishy to me, and maybe the "new girl" just wasn't sure. I would just make sure- you don't want to be hooped later! Good luck!

    PS- In answer to your question, my daughter is almost 9, and in Grade 4. She is a natural writer and I love that! (now that I know you are a writing instructor, it makes me nervous.....LOL!)

  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger Johnny said…

    Double and triple-check. It's your daughter that is affected by the (potentially) incorrect assessment of a rookie.

  • At 3:21 PM, Blogger Robin said…

    I know in Ohio, the homestudy is good for 2 years. The fingerprints, only 15 months and of course the I-171 18 months. So, where does one begin with all of that?

    I hope you get the information you need. I'll be starting on all of my stuff come March/April as well.

  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger eggrolls and chopsticks said…

    Sounds fishy to me. Check, check and check again, that is my mantra.

    Did I ever mention being OCD?

  • At 5:39 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    Joannah, you will need to update your home study but you have a while to wait. I believe our agency said to give yourself 90 days from when your I-171H expires (it's valid for 18 months).

    I just today sent in my renewal and here in TX you send in your paperwork and then wait for the fingerprint appointment.
    My fingerprints expired back on November 13th and my I-171H expires May 3rd. My LID is 11/22/05.
    We were told to wait until January to start the renewal, which required a home study update and new fingerprints. Had I gotten my fingerprints done in the fall, there might be a chance that I have to have them done yet again. So, we waited until a couple of weeks ago to start the renewal ball rolling.

    This is all it requires:

    1.home study update (for us, because we moved it was a $1000 fee however I believe it's around $250 or so otherwise--but that's here, not in CA)
    She came on the 5th and we just got the update last night on the 19th.

    2.1-600A form filled out and a check for $685 which includes the $140 fingerprint fee (two adults) and the $545 fee for the I-171H

    3.copy of our birth certificates

    4. copy of our marriage certificate

    5. copy of old homes tudy

    6. copy of updated home

    7. copy of old I-171H

    I hope that doesn't confuse you. What I did though was send my referral counselor a couple of emails saying that we want the most responsive social worker they have and we will not be happy campers if we get a referral and can't travel because they didn't get on this in time. She assured me we had time but then we received a call from our SW two days later scheduling a meeting.

  • At 6:11 PM, Blogger Karen and Bob said…

    As someone who just re-did all of this, here is what I had to do, and how my agency said to do it. In California, your homestudy is only valid for one year. Since you will have to re-file for a new I171H, and that will be after one year, if you update your homestudy now, it won't be valid by the time you need to renew the I171H. You cannot apply for a new I171H sooner than 90 days before expiration.

    We let our fingerprints expire, and then re-did them when a new I600A was filed. Our agency told us to let the fingerprints expire. If you need more info, email me. Hope that helps a bit...or makes sense!

  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger Kathy and Joel said…

    Good luck with this, Joannah. I'm not sure how it works for you, but I'll be reading to see what you decide to do. I should find out what is supposed to happen here in Canada.

  • At 2:40 AM, Blogger A Special Family said…

    Good Luck Joannah! Will be waiting to hear how it is going!

  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Connie said…

    I think you're doing the right thing to check. That doesn't sound right at have everything to gain by making sure you have good info.

  • At 12:35 PM, Blogger Kelly & Todd said…

    I think you are on the right track and handled it perfectly. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I'm sure your SW will come through with a concrete answer for you.

    Good luck!

  • At 7:27 AM, Blogger Andrew & Stephanie said…

    Definately clarify! We were told that we would need a homestudy update as well as re-submit our 1-600A form w/ new fingerprints....and the 1-171H form. Good Luck!


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