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Can a foster child share a bedroom? Fostering regulations

Prospective foster parents often have a lot of questions regarding whether children who are fostered can share a bedroom. Some of the most common such questions that we receive on this topic are, can child who is fostered share a bedroom with my birth child? Can fostered or looked after children share a room at all? And what are the fostering regulations on bedroom sharing? You may have heard lots of conflicting advice and guidance around bedroom sharing and fostering, but hopefully this will help to answer all of your questions. From the outset, it can feel like there are a lot of rules to follow, but this is because a child’s room is very important. So, can a foster child share a bedroom? And fostered children sharing bedroom – is that allowed?

A bedroom is a safe space where a child or young person can go to feel comfortable, relaxed, and secure. It is a place of their own where they can be alone and where they can feel protected. Foster children need to have this space as they may not have had such a space in their previous home. Additionally, children who have suffered abuse or neglect will rely on this space to help them recover. A safe and cosy bedroom is the perfect place to create a new sense of normality for the child and for them to begin to build a new, happy, and loved family life in their foster home. This is why the regulations around bedroom sharing for children who are fostered, is so important.

Please read below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions around bedroom regulations:

Do I need a spare bedroom? 

Yes, you must have a spare bedroom to foster and you will need to prove you have one available as part of the assessment process. If you do not, you will not be approved as a carer. There are specific rules relating to bedroom sharing, dictated by fostering regulation.  Children who are fostered can share a bedroom, but only with their siblings, matched by their age and gender, and only if agreed by their social worker or responsible authority.

We’re also often asked if it matters whether your property is your own or whether it is rented. This is not important to us and won’t affect your application. Neither does the type of accommodation you live in, be it a house, flat, bungalow, or other. What does matter is that your home is secure and that it is large enough to accommodate an additional person, i.e. has a spare room.

Can a foster child share a bedroom with my birth children?

Your own children will not be allowed to share a room with foster children. This is for the benefit and safety of both children. As an independent fostering agency, we care about all children, and fostered children sharing a bedroom with a birth child is not appropriate. Fostering a child is a big decision and even if your birth children are on-board, they shouldn’t have to sacrifice their room to accommodate them. Similarly, moving to a new home can be scary and is completely new for looked after children. Having to share a room with someone they have only just met could be a daunting prospect for a foster child, especially those who have had negative past life experiences.

We ask that anyone looking to become a foster parent who has their own children also has an additional spare room solely for use of the foster child.

Can a foster child share a bedroom with their siblings?

Again, this is not a likely occurrence. You will only be able to foster children and young people who you have a suitable amount of space to accommodate for, meaning one room per child. In certain circumstances, foster children who are siblings of the same gender may be allowed to share a room  - in this case, fostered children sharing a bedroom is permissible. However, it is important to abide by the fostering regulation in regards to bedroom sharing. This decision would be up to the child’s responsible authority and the social worker appointed to the child.

We hope we've helped answer the question "Can a foster child share a bedroom?". If you’re thinking about becoming a foster parent and have additional questions about the fostering regulations regarding bedroom sharing or fostered children sharing a bedroom, we can help settle your concerns. Please speak to a member of the team by calling 03300 948816, using the live chat feature on our website, message us on facebook, or visit our contact page.

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