Do you have to have a spare room to foster?

Do you need a spare room
to foster?

It's a legal requirement for any child over the age of 3 to have their own room. This is to ensure the child you foster has the privacy and space they require. Babies, however, can usually share a foster carer's bedroom up to a certain age (usually around 12-18 months).

A child or young person's bedroom is a place they can call their own and it acts as their special ‘safe-haven’ - somewhere they can go to get a sense of quiet and privacy, or even to play and be creative.

It’s also a really important part of helping a child in foster care feel like they belong. Importantly, it also acts as a kind of ‘stepping-stone’ into their new foster family, helping them acclimatise and settle in. For these reasons, local authorities won't generally allow them to share a bedroom with other children (except with their own siblings depending on age and space available).

For foster parents, there’s another practical reason why a separate room is important. It’s a place where children in care can learn boundaries and routines, such as regular bedtimes, or spend time without disrupting other members in the household.

Foster care bedroom

Foster care bedroom requirements

The minimum requirement for a foster child's bedroom is that it’s safe, secure and well-maintained, and has enough space to fit a single bed, desk and chest of drawers or a wardrobe.

The spare room for fostering must always be available for a child in your care. For example, if you have children living away at university, there must be another bedroom for them to come to over the holidays.

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