To become a foster carer, you need certain qualities. A sensitivity to the needs of children and life experience that would allow you to provide stability to a child are a great starting point. There are other, purely practical considerations, though, and one thing that is an absolute must is a spare bedroom. The UK has very specific regulations surrounding foster caring, and one of them is that a child needs his or her own personal space. Here, we will look carefully at the details of the foster care bedroom requirements UK foster carers need to follow.
Will my home be inspected if I apply to be a foster carer?
When you apply to become a foster carer, your home will be assessed to determine whether it is suitable. While there are specific guidelines, it should be noted that they are not always hard and fast rules, because it is understood that each foster child and foster family is unique. Sometimes the rules can be slightly adjusted to do what is best for everyone involved, but there are some principles that cannot be shifted.
Is my home suitable for a foster child?
The current foster care regulations state that a foster home must “comfortably accommodate all who live there” and be “warm, adequately furnished and decorated…maintained to a good standard of cleanliness and hygiene and…in good order throughout.” Additionally, “In the foster home, each child over the age of three should have their own bedroom. If this is not possible, the sharing of a bedroom is agreed by each child’s responsible authority and each child has their own area within the bedroom.”
That all seems fairly clear, but there is some room for adjustment when the circumstances call for it. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that each child is safe and comfortable, and that typically means having his or her own room. There are some foster child bedroom ideas, though, that may pass muster, even if they are a little outside the expected arrangement. For instance, if you do not have a spare room but there is a room you can convert into a spare room, that will be considered. Additionally, while it is not recommended to make children already in the household share a room to make space for a foster child, children who have always shared a room and are the same gender can continue to share their room and let the foster child take the spare room.
What is considered a spare room?
It is a separate space with a door and a window, and it is used solely by the foster child. It cannot be a room that people walk through to access other parts of the house, nor a room used by regular guests. Ideally, the room will be on the same floor as the foster parents’ bedroom, or the floor above. Just as you cannot move your children into one room to make space for a foster child, you cannot give a foster child a bedroom that belongs to someone who is simply away at university.
Can a foster child share a room?
So, if your existing children can cohabit, can a foster child share a room? Typically, no. A foster child cannot share a room with children already in the household. However, in some cases, a foster child can share a room with a same sex sibling. In some cases, foster children have been sharing a room with a sibling before entering foster care, and if this is what makes them comfortable, it will be considered as an option.
Does my foster child’s room need anything specific?
Safety is important, and it is also important to make a child feel comfortable and secure. The foster child’s room needs a bed and dresser but don’t leave it with simply the basics. Look for children’s room inspiration and turn that spare room into a child’s dream room before you bring a foster child into your family.
Apply today to become a foster carer
Are you interested in becoming a foster carer? At Acorn Fostering Services, we provide good quality foster placements for children and young people, and we are always looking for foster carers who can offer children sensitivity and care. An Ofsted approved and registered independent fostering agency, we are based in Leicester and provide fostering agency services throughout the East and West Midlands and Northern Counties. If you think you have the life experience and qualities that would help you care for children of all types and you want to learn more about foster caring, call us on 0116 216 6040 or email us.