May I use a private home study?
DCF may have told you that your home study will take several weeks. Or perhaps you are in a different county than the foster child and the cross-county communication to initiate and complete your home study has broken down. Or perhaps you live outside the state of Florida, in which case, getting a home study through the child welfare system will likely take at LEAST several months. In any of these scenarios, you may be wise to get an expedited, private home study.
The Department often accepts private home studies because home studies are done by licensed professionals who are regulated in the same way that professionals hired by foster care agencies are. Florida has privatized foster care, which means that foster care agencies are licensed child placing agencies who contract with the state to provide foster care service. Therefore, whether you’re a professional with a child placing agency who has or hasn’t entered into a contract with the state should not be relevant to the validity of a home study.