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Preparing a Foster Child's Bedroom

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Preparing for the arrival of a foster child can be an exciting time for any family, but it can also bring some nerves, especially if it's your first placement. From a foster child's perspective, a new home and foster family can bring feelings of uncertainty and anxiety.

A starting point for any foster carer to make the transition easier is to help the foster child feel comfortable in their own bedroom. A young person's bedroom should be a place of safety and sanctuary, where they can relax on their own if they want to.

One way to approach a new placement is to consider arranging a welcome pack and suitable decor for a foster child. Firstly, there are the initial bedroom requirements to consider that must be met - these requirements will be confirmed before a child is placed with you.

Standard Bedroom Requirements:

  • A foster family must have a spare, unoccupied bedroom available for a foster child

  • A foster child must have their own bedroom - the only exception to this is if you are fostering siblings; in certain circumstances, it is possible for siblings to share a bedroom if it is considered appropriate for the children's circumstance

  • Foster children should not share bedrooms with any other members of the family that aren’t related by blood, i.e. foster children sharing with a carer's biological children, as this could present issues during the placement

If you'd like to know more about these requirements, you can find more information here or you can request an information pack.

Bedroom Decor

A child's bedroom can be a way to express their interests and surround themselves with comforting things like teddies and photos. Below are some suggestions for bedroom decor:

  • Keep a neutral colour scheme - neutral or pastel colours in a room create a calming environment that can be especially helpful for children and young people with anxiety or anger problems

  • Avoid making assumptions based on gender or interests - a pink bedroom for a younger girl might be well received and a football-themed room might be well suited for a boy, but a child may not respond well if their interests are already assumed or they may prefer to have a say in how their room is decorated

  • Where possible, make decorating an activity - a positive way to get to know a foster child is to ask how they want their room to be decorated, giving them the option to pick their duvet cover or what colour fairy lights they want might help them to share their preferences and feel more at home - in some cases, especially respite placements, you might not know a lot about the child, so this is a useful well to find out and give them the freedom to make choices

  • Consider the age of the child - consider what might be age-appropriate for a young person, a teen might prefer minimal decor, whilst a young child might like lots of soft teddies and blankets

  • Room for personalisation - if you regularly have new and changing placements, painting the walls every time won't be possible, so having decor that can be easily changed and personalised can help the transition process; things like notice boards for posters and photos are great, as well as name stickers to decorate above beds and on boxes (especially in shared rooms) can be exciting for younger children

Bedroom Furniture and Contents

Safety is a big consideration for furniture, but typically the basics should meet the child's needs and any specific requirements will be dependent on the placement. Here are some useful considerations:

  • Storage - storage boxes in all shapes and sizes can be useful for keeping tidy - again, age may come into consideration; varying ages of children will affect whether they need storage for toys, school books, extra space for clothes, shoes etc.

  • Safety - this will be dependent on the placement, which you will be informed and advised about, yet it is always important to consider safety measures such as the removal of any sharp objects, valuable and fragile items and consideration of bed guards and window and door locks

  • Soothing items - in our last blog, we mentioned how worry monsters and quiet tents can help children manage stress, in addition to this, soft blankets, fidget toys, nightlights and diaries can all be useful to consider for a foster child's room

  • Valuables box - some children will have special items that they want to ensure are safe from other children or simply kept private, so a potential solution is to have dedicated storage for these items that only foster carers have access to - if a child wants to retrieve an item from the box, this can then be monitored by a responsible adult

Every child is different, and every foster carer's situation is different. We hope that this article simply offers you some ideas on the positive impact you can have by making transitions easier for foster children.

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