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Why do you need a spare room to foster a child?

If you are hoping to foster a child in the UK, working with a dedicated foster care agency like Match Foster Care is the best way to make it happen. Our experts will guide you through the process to ensure that the best outcomes are reached for foster parents and foster children alike. Ensuring that your home boasts a suitable bedroom space for any foster child is one of the top items on the agenda.

Many families may wonder why you need a spare room to foster a child, especially as providing a supportive and loving environment is the most important issue. However, becoming a foster parent is a process that can take up to 6 months (although our process is often quicker), which is why it’s vital to ensure that everything is in place to support your foster child. Here’s what you need to know about their bedroom requirements.

Why will a foster care agency want you to have a spare room?

Depending on the type of fostering agreement, your foster child may stay with you for a few weeks or several years. Either way, a foster care agency will conduct a fostering assessment to confirm your suitability. Home visits are an important part of this process to check that the property is suitable for the foster child to live in. Having their own bedroom is a crucial requirement. 

Every foster family is unique, which is why many aspects of the assessment are relaxed guidelines rather than specific rulings. However, every foster child needs their own bedroom for several reasons, including but not limited to;

  • Foster children often enter the system having experienced trauma and need a space where they can feel truly safe.
  • A bedroom also serves as a place where foster children can cool off or collect their thoughts – after all, this is a massive transition for them.
  • It helps mitigate any potential sibling rivalry that may surface.
  • Foster children often feel that they need a space to be alone, not least because they have only been able to trust themselves in recent years.
  • The bedroom can be decorated to make the property truly feel like their home.

The foster child’s bedroom is particularly important throughout those early weeks when the transition can feel very overwhelming. However, the truth is that having a space where they can gain privacy is vital at every stage of the fostering arrangement. 

There are some potential exemptions, such as when you foster same-sex siblings that may wish to share a bedroom. In the vast majority of cases, though, every foster child needs their own room. Aside from providing a better environment for them, it will make your life easier as a foster parent too.

What are the expected requirements for a foster child’s bedroom?

In addition to providing a dedicated space that your foster child can call their own, it’s imperative that the bedroom space is deemed suitable. Firstly, it must not be a through room or a converted dining room. Similarly, it should not be a room that usually belongs to a child that is currently away at university.

The key features that a foster child’s bedroom must include are;

  • A suitable bed
  • At least one window
  • A door that can be shut for their privacy
  • Adequate storage space
  • Adequate space for play and study

As long as the bedroom meets these criteria, it should be deemed suitable for your foster child. Furthermore, our experts can provide valuable insight into how to unlock the room’s full potential as a part of the ongoing foster parent training and support that’s offered throughout the process.

Learn more about fostering today

There are around 44,000 fostering households in the UK, but thousands of children still require the love and care of a foster family. If you are ready to become a foster parent, there has never been a better time to start.
Match Foster Care can guide you through the bedroom requirements along with all other key issues before matching you to a foster child who is hoping to join a loving family like yours. Contact us now to find out more.