For many of us, our bedrooms are a sanctuary, a space that is completely our own. Children in care do not have that luxury - having often been moved from residence to residence. As a foster parent, it is important that you do everything possible to help your child feel safe. Creating a bedroom space that is entirely theirs will do wonders to help them feel secure. We have compiled a few tips on how to create the perfect bedroom area for your new foster child.
A common question asked by potential foster carers is ‘can a foster child share a bedroom?’. The requirements state:
A foster child’s bedroom can become a very important haven for them so getting the decoration right is vital. Our tips will help you to design a room that is comfortable and homely without forcing your own tastes onto your foster child.
As you prepare the bedroom before the child arrives, it is unlikely that you will know much about them. That’s why it’s best to keep the décor simple without making assumptions about their likes or dislikes. Adding posters, bright colours or decoration should not be done until you’ve spoken to your foster child, as this could be isolating and make their room an uncomfortable place to be. This room should be a safe space for them - so leave the final furnishings for when they arrive.
An added benefit of keeping your furniture neutral is being able to use it for your next foster placement. Many foster placements are not long term, so getting hard-wearing, neutral furniture is very important for not only your foster children, but also for your bank balance! Consider buying a bed that can be used by both younger and older children, a spacious wardrobe, and paint the walls a neutral colour. However, make sure your furniture is not worn - as this can send a message to your foster child that they are just one in a long train of foster children, rather than an individual that you care about specifically.
Your foster child may have some belongings from where they previously lived that make a room feel like home. If you fill your foster child’s room, they might feel unable to display their own belongings and feel like a stranger in someone else’s room. It is important that you give your foster child the ability to make their bedroom into their own.
A lot of foster children have had difficult backgrounds and can be overwhelmed by lots of new things. Keep it simple and don’t go overboard with kitting out their new bedroom. However, a nice thing to do might be buying them a small present such as some pyjamas or new slippers. These are things they can use in the house and getting their tastes wrong shouldn’t matter too much!
Keeping the room plain to begin with means that when they move in, you can buy some things together. Consider buying comfortable furnishings such as throws and pillows – these create a comfortable and warm atmosphere and can be tailored to your foster child’s tastes. These small comforts will also keep your room neutral.
Do you need more help deciding how to decorate your foster care bedroom? Our friendly team are always available to help our foster carers. Find out more helpful tips and advice from our Knowledge Centre now.