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How to prepare a foster child’s bedroom

Preparing for the arrival of a foster child can be an exciting time for any family, filled with anticipation. But of course, any foster family would want to ensure the transition is made as smooth as possible so that the foster child soon feels at home. So, where’s the best place to start? The foster child’s bedroom.

Their bedroom will be a place of sanctuary where they can feel safe, spend time on their own and retreat to if they need a break away from daily life. Therefore, ensuring the foster child’s bedroom is kitted out to their personal preference is essential to making them feel like they’re at home.

Foster care bedroom requirements

However, firstly it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts for foster child bedrooms, such as ‘can a foster child share a bedroom?’ The requirements state:

  • In order to home a foster child in the first place, you must have a spare bedroom.
  • A foster child must have their own bedroom (however, the exception to this is if you’re fostering siblings – as in this instance, it may be possible for siblings to share a room if it’s deemed right to do so).
  • Foster children should not share bedrooms with any other members of the family that aren’t related by blood, as this could be problematic and may cause challenges throughout the placement.

As well as being at least 21 years of age and being in good health, learn more about foster care requirements for looking after a young person in care.

Foster child bedroom ideas

When thinking about preparing a foster child’s bedroom, firstly you need to consider a few things:

  • Interests – this is something is likely not known before the placement has begun. Therefore, it’s important to not go overboard in your decorating until you’ve understood their likes and dislikes slightly more.
  • Age – the age of your foster child will be a massive factor for deciding how to kit out their room, as it will be likely indicate their interests and preferences.

Older foster children’s bedrooms

If your foster child is older than ten years old, it’s likely they’ll want different things in their bedroom to those of a younger age. Kitting out their bedroom with toys and decorating it pink or blue probably won’t be the right path to go down.

When it comes to decorating older foster children’s bedrooms, the best way to approach this is to keep it simple. That way, when they move in, you can let them choose how they want their bedroom decorated. Adding in some small touches like bedding, cushions, throws or beans bags can make them feel like it’s homely. So, when it comes to decorating the room, keep it plain and you can make an activity out of decorating it together when they move in.

You’re also likely to have a better idea of their likes and interests once you’ve spent a bit more time together. Pre-empting that they’ll be football fans or assuming they like gaming can be a risky choice – as, although it can be seen as a nice thing to do, the children may feel like they’re being categorised without being properly known and may react badly to presumptuous opinions about their personality. With younger children, it’s easier to preempt what they’ll like, as they may not quite know themselves yet, but with older children, it’s best to keep the foster child’s bedroom as simple as possible and let them decorate it how they like.

Decoration ideas & tips

Whether you’re decorating for younger foster children, or you’re working together with older foster children to decorate their room, it’s important to get a feel for what they like. This can include colours of the walls/wallpaper; furnishings – such as bedside tables and chest of drawers; carpet – colour preference or whether they’d prefer laminate flooring; curtains or blinds; and more. When it comes down to the actual decoration of your foster child’s bedroom, Pinterest have some amazing ideas to explore.

It’s also important to remember to not overwhelm them. Although you may want to create the perfect space for your foster child, buying too much or going overboard on toys and decoration can be daunting for a foster child – especially if they are used to having very little. Ensure first and foremost they have a space to play; the room is clean and tidy; and you’re focussing less on material goods.

Need any more advice on foster care bedroom requirements or ideas for decorating? Our helpful team are always on hand to provide expert support to all of our foster carers. Find out more helpful tips and advice from our Knowledge Centre guides now.

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