Preparing a Room for a Foster Child
If you’re thinking about preparing a room for a foster child, then you probably already know that a spare bedroom is essential for those who wish to foster. It is a critical requirement to become a carer and, without one, you will not be allowed to apply to foster. If you’re already an approved carer, then you may be wondering how to turn your spare bedroom into a safe sanctuary for your forthcoming foster child.
Here are our top tips for preparing a room for your first foster child:
Get the essentials right
First and foremost, the bedroom needs to be practical. You must have a bed and space for clothes such as a wardrobe or chest of drawers. Depending on the size of your spare room, consider space-saving furniture that has lots of storage and a place to keep toys and personal items.
Make sure it’s safe
You may not know the age of the foster child in advance of them moving in with you. Foster children can range from toddlers to teenagers and so it’s important that your spare room is safe for a child of any age. If the room has windows, you may need to add locks or ensure they are safe. Anything else that could be a hazard such as wires and plugs should be considered. Finally, make sure the room has a smoke alarm.
Keep it simple
As you may not know much about the child before they come to stay with you, it’s best to keep things simple. Choose neutral colours for the walls that would be suitable for a girl or a boy and keep the decor neutral too. This ensures that the room feels safe and comfortable without conflicting with any personal preferences the child may have.
Make it welcoming
It’s so important that the child feels safe and secure in their new foster home. A great way to do this is by making their bedroom welcoming and inviting. Moving in with a foster family can be very scary for children and young people. You should try to strike a balance by creating a warm environment without going overboard and overwhelming the child. After all, they may not have had many possessions before and it can be quite scary to them! We recommend items such as pillows, blankets, throws, stuffed toys, and beanbags to help make the room feel comfortable and safe. You may also want to consider a night light for younger children or fairy lights for teenagers.
Create space to be creative
As the child begins to get more comfortable with their home and their room, they should feel they have space to express themselves and add their own personal touch. A desk is a good idea for older children to do school work and also to take on creative projects and crafts. Other good ideas can be a notice board for children to pin up pictures, posters, and anything else that interests them. For younger children, a chalkboard can be a fun idea to get children drawing and expressing themselves.
Making it personal
Once you know the foster child more, you can begin to make the room more personalised to their tastes and interests. Perhaps choosing new bedsheets together is a good place to start! Other ideas can be to pick out wall art that reflects the child’s interests and hobbies. For younger children, having personalised name stickers above the bed can also make them feel at home.
A foster child’s bedroom is so important in their recovery from difficult past life experiences and the safe space that a bedroom creates cannot be underestimated. Ensuring they have everything they need including personal items and toiletries as well as a cosy bedroom is a great start to welcoming a child into your home.
For more information about foster care and preparing for your first foster child, you can speak to our professionals here at Fusion Fostering. You can reach us by calling 03301 239355 or filling out our contact form, our team of social workers and administrators are always happy to speak to prospective carers and those wishing to transfer to us!
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