How To Prepare A Bedroom For A Foster Child?
In order to become a foster carer, it’s imperative that you have a spare bedroom which a foster child can call their own from the moment they arrive in your home for the first time.
It’s not just having a spare bedroom that will make a child feel safe and protected, it’s about how you prepare it too. Yes, we understand that you may not know the child’s exact tastes before the placement begins, but throughout the application process you will inform one of our experienced social workers on what age and gender you’d like to foster. Hopefully this can help you prepare the bedroom, as well as the rest of your home for the arrival of a foster child.
Don’t worry, even the most experienced foster carers still get nervous and a bit apprehensive whenever a foster child arrives in their home, but preparing your home in a way that makes a great first impression can make all difference to a foster child’s sense of safety and wellbeing. Here are a few tips that will help you to prepare your foster child’s bedroom for when they arrive.
Try not to overwhelm
It can be extremely easy for any foster parent to go out of their way and fill the bedroom with a range of toys, games and electronic devices that aim to make a foster child feel welcome and comfortable.
Unfortunately, some foster children may not be aware of how to play certain games or electronic devices, so it’ll be very easy for them to become daunted when they arrive in their bedroom. Instead, having a bedroom that is clean, tidy and containing fewer material goods is likely to be less overwhelming.
It’s also a great idea to give a child a tour of their bedroom when they first arrive, as showing them inside wardrobes and underneath beds can certainly help to settle nerves, especially if they’re young.
Tips for decorating
If you’ve decided to paint their bedroom, make sure you stick to a neutral colour scheme because pinning your hopes on one particular colour may make the room feel stereotyped. For example, you may be preparing to foster a girl and you decide to paint her room pink, but her favourite colour is actually blue.
The same should also be said for other items like curtains, bedding and cushions which can obviously be changed once the foster child arrives and you can find out what they like or don’t like.
To inject a splash of colour and personality into the room that’s more suited to a child’s taste, why not add a few boards to the walls that can be easily painted in their favourite colours.
Create a space for them
In addition to providing a clean, tidy and safe space, it’s also necessary to offer a place in the bedroom that promotes a foster child’s development, independence and creativity. For example, why not provide a desk, suitable books and even a chalkboard that allows foster children to be creative, have the the opportunity to write down their thoughts and be comfortable within the family home.
As well as a place to stay, a foster child’s bedroom should also act as a physical boundary that allows them to feel safe, secure and relaxed from the moment they arrive inside.
Rather than striving to create the perfect bedroom, you should aim to have a space that makes a foster child feel happy. Adapting a flexible approach during the preparation stages and throughout the first few weeks of the fostering relationship will ensure you and your foster child get off to the best possible start together.
To receive further information on foster care and how you can become a foster carer, why not speak to one of our specialist social workers on 0845 074 0076.