The importance of needing a spare bedroom.
The main criteria to become a foster carer is to have a spare bedroom. There are multiple reasons for this and it is essential for applicants to understand its importance for not only the child but for the carers themselves.
Looked after children will be coming into your home scared, lonely and entering an environment that is unknown to them. Especially for older children, their bedroom gives them the privacy to come to terms with what has happened and gives children their space to cope with their emotions.
As children are coming into a new home and to a new family, they might prefer to have their own space and be on their own for a while before meeting the family and gaining that confidence. It might be intimidating to meet such a big happy family and although they are being welcomed with open arms, they may feel shy and need that time to prepare themselves or feel ready to join the family.
The child in your care may have experienced something emotional and traumatic and their behaviour may reflect this. So having their own room allows them to have their own space if they want it, however having their own room can also be for safeguarding reasons as it is about protecting yourself and your family members. Safeguarding is something you will become more knowledgably within your assessment and how to manage particular situations. Therefore, for the child to have their own bedroom will help to prevent any safeguarding issues especially depending on the child’s background.
A sense of belonging
A child having a their own bedroom gives them a sense of belonging, independence and allows them to express themselves. A child may have never had their own bedroom and may have had to share or sleep on the floor or the sofa. So for them to have their very own bedroom would be an incredibly exciting and overwhelming moment for them and I’m sure they have endless ideas of what they can do it to make it their own. They might want to change the wallpaper to their favourite colour or put their bed next to the window. They may want to change the layout of the furniture every other week, just because they can and have never had the chance to do so before. A sense of belonging allows the child to feel valued within the home and gives them a chance to express their interests and hobbies within their own personal space.