Court Services

Purpose of a Home Study

The court orders home studies to be completed on or more parties involved in a custody and/or visitation matter. Home studies provide the Court with a comprehensive report on the parties and children. These reports are used to assist the Court in making the best decision as to the custody and visitation of the child/children involved in the case.

Home Study Process


Once home studies are ordered by the court, the York-Poquoson Department of Social Services (YPSS) will send out packets of information to be completed by the party and returned to the agency prior to the first meeting. That packet includes:

  • An autobiography
  • A financial statement
  • Questions about past and present relationships
  • Questions regarding you
  • Questions regarding your child/children
  • A school form to be provided to the school regarding your child/children
  • Three reference requests to be completed by non related parties

First Meeting

At the first meeting you will be asked to fill out Virginia State Police criminal background check and Virginia Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Central Registry background check paperwork.

After the first meeting, a home visit will be conducted to determine whether or not your home is appropriate. A Family Services Specialist will conduct interviews with your child/children if appropriate.

Final Report

The final report that is submitted to the court fifteen days prior to the court hearing includes:

  • Assessment and recommendations (when applicable)
  • Background check outcomes
  • Background information on you and the other parent when applicable
  • Background information regarding the current custody/visitation arrangement and your family
  • Information on the child/children
  • Outcome of the home visit, references, current employment

Costs Associated with Home Study

  • Criminal Background Check: $20
  • Home Study: up to $511.38 (based on income)