Starting the fostering assessment is an exciting time for your whole household, and one of the first things people think about is getting the fostering bedroom ready for the child. As the assessment process takes approximately four to six months, you have plenty of time to plan and get this done!
It is important that a foster child has their own space – a sanctuary where they can feel safe. We all need somewhere where we can have some time alone or somewhere retreat to when needing a break from the stresses of the day, and this is of course also the case for a foster child. Therefore, to be able to foster a child, you must have at least one spare bedroom for their sole use.
A foster child must have their own bedroom, although sometimes it is deemed appropriate for them to share with their sibling or are in a parent and child placement. We have covered the topic of foster children having their own room in a previous blog (see below). A fostering bedroom needs to be big enough to comfortably fit at least a single bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe, plus desk and chair for homework.
Ideally the bedroom will be on the same floor as the foster carer so that the child or young person can feel part of the family, as well as foster carer being close enough to enable you to respond quickly should the child need your assistance. There is some flexibility on this if you looking to care for young people who have a disability or mobility issues and cannot safely manage stairs, and you also have a downstairs toilet and bath/shower room close to the proposed bedroom.
As mentioned above, you do have plenty of time to get the room ready for fostering but we do suggest that if you are looking to refresh/redecorate or do any other alterations, then try to have them complete earlyish in the assessment process. This will give you time to think about layout and furnishings that would be flexible for any age, gender etc. We suggest that décor should be in neutral colours which can then be further set up for any age, gender, and background of the foster child.
As you may not know a foster child’s interests or preferences prior to them arriving at your home, we suggest that you have a few different styles of duvet sets, posters, teddies, cushions etc that can be selected by the child or young person themselves. Obviously, this does depend on their age and understanding. They can then also put in their own belongings and style the room in a way they like. You could also have a few photo-frames available so that, should the child wish, pictures of parents or siblings can be nicely displayed for them. Ensuring the foster child’s bedroom is kitted out to their personal preference is essential to making them feel at home.
If you are interested in undertaking parent & child assessments, you would also need to have items such as a cot (with new mattress), pram/stroller, car-seat, bottle sterilizer with bottles (with new teats), age-appropriate clothing/toys/books etc. These do not need to be new but must be in good condition and fully functioning.
If you have any further queries about what is required in relation to a fostering bedroom, then we would be happy to help 😊
Further information as to why a foster child needs their own room then please have a look at this blog on the subject: