In order become a foster carer it is essential that you are able to provide a child you are caring for with a bedroom of their own. This is so they feel safe and protected and can have a space of their own to relax and play in. As each and every child is different and has differing interests and needs, it can be tricky to prepare a room in a way that exactly matches their requirements and tastes.
Preparing a room for foster placements can be hard and in many ways is something that should be approached with a flexible, adaptable attitude as making the bedroom a happy place goes beyond decorating…
You should try and select neutral colours for the walls, which will mean that the room doesn’t feel stereotyped (ie: don’t paint it blue for a girl and pink for a boy). To allow for personalisation you could fit panels that can be painted and repainted according to children’s tastes, put pin boards on the walls for attaching photos or posters and you could even consider using chalk paint on a section of the room where young children can draw directly on the walls.
Furniture should be as versatile as possible – some beds can be used for a wider range of ages than others so consider that when making a purchase.
You should be prepared for the possibility of things getting broken too. While you don’t want the room to look cheap you may want to fit it with good quality second-hand furniture that can be replaced. Empty frames give children the option of putting out their own photos or pictures and a nightlight can also be a useful addition and help make them feel more at home.
Creating a feeling of warmth
When the child arrives you’ll want to make them feel welcome and as comfortable as possible, so try and prepare for their arrival in the same way you might if welcoming a family member to stay. The room itself should be clean and tidy but try not to go too overboard on decorations or filling the room with toys as this might make the child feel overwhelmed. Often a child can arrive hungry and may be to shy to ask for food, so you may want to consider putting out a snack for them.
If you are considering becoming a foster carer, you will be changing a life. Whether you’re looking into Fostering Manchester or anywhere in the UK, making your foster child feel at home is an important part of the process.