The MOHW has changed its mind upon further review of this issue that many times the agencies would waste their time visiting the families that are not at homes, and the unannounced visitation would amount to violating privacy rights of the families involved. In the litigation conscious country like the US, this is an important factor for both agencies and the families being visited unannounced.
This issue has nothing to do with the death of Hyusu O’Callaghan and the mass it created aftermath. But the unannounced visitation was articulated in the law well before the boy’s tragedy.Instead of the unannounced visit, the MOHW has decided to accept a total of three (3) reference letters, signed and notarized. Of the three letters, one can be from a relative, and the other two should be from close friends, co-workers, supervisors, pastors, etc.
How is this letter different from the reference letters requested by the agencies during the home study period? Nothing. Except that the letters now have to be signed and notarized. So, for those who are already in the process, it may mean that you will have to obtain the original letters from your agencies, or write additional reference letters (as some agencies required only two letters before). If you have already submitted the letters, you are required to have the original reference letters signed and notarized.
Fortunately, the letters may be from the same individuals who wrote them for the home study, but must be freshly signed/notarized - keeping in mind that only one may be from a relative. The letters should be kept to one page in length.If you are one of the families affected by this new change, you should hear from your agency soon.