One of the biggest questions we receive as an independent fostering agency, is around spare rooms; if you need a spare room and more importantly, why you need a spare room in your home to foster a child or young person.
In order to become a foster carer, the answer to the first question is easy; yes you need a spare room in your home to foster. This blog will go into detail about why you need a spare room and why it’s so important for foster children to have their own bedroom.
The benefits of having a spare room
As well as being part of the Fostering Services National Minimum Standards, there are number of reasons why you need a spare room in your home, including reasons around the child’s safety, security and privacy.
Ensuring kids have their own space – every child requires their own space regardless of if they have been brought up in foster care or not, it’s space for children to call their own and be children whether they are playing, exploring and or being creative without distractions.
- Ensuring kids have security and privacy – ensuring foster kids have their privacy and security is hugely important for both the foster children and you at home. Some children who are in need of fostering may be troubled from previous experiences so providing a room helps them process events from their lives as well as protecting them from potential harmful or disruptive behaviours.
- A spare room is a safe haven – fostered kids will have likely experienced neglect in their lives with an absence of love. Ensuring they have their own safe haven will help them adjust and adapt to their new surroundings, and ensure they feel more comfortable with their foster family.
Helping make your spare room into their room
Having a spare room is the first step, but how can you turn it into a magical space a foster child will adore? Without spending too much money, or completely renovating the whole house, we have some initial tips on how to spruce up your room to ensure your foster child feels comfortable, secure and most importantly, feels at home in your house.
- Upcycling items – upcycling items is not only on trend but it is a cost-effective, easy way to turn furniture in your spare room from drab to fab. From adding a lick of paint to those 4 year old wardrobes, to adding netting over the bed to add a more regal, four-poster feel to the bed, there are lots of things you can do which don’t have to break the bank.
- Adding splashes of colour – for a more dramatic change to your spare room, you can add colour to your walls to lighten and brighten the room up.
- Ensuring it is a happy place – most importantly, the key to looking after a happy foster child is by giving them time to settle into their room, your home and including them in your life activities.
Part of a successful placement is working closely with the child to change the room around to make it theirs, this does not have to be expensive. A favourite football team poster, a poster of their favourite online game, a rug they have chosen, new curtains they have chosen, their books on display on a shelf, their favourite toy next to their bed, all of a sudden you have a transformation, and they have been part of it.
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