Setting up a bedroom for foster care is an important step in the process of becoming an approved foster home. Use these foster care bedroom requirements to make sure your home is equipped and approved.
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**Always check your state and agency requirements for specifics as these vary across the US and from agency to agency.
Download a Free Printable Home Safety Checklist Below.
When you decide to become a foster parent, one of the fist things to consider is space? Do you have a bedroom for foster child that will allow you to complete your home study successfully? Not just any space can be designated as a bedroom. Though foster care bedroom requirements differ from state to state, there are a few things that most sates have in common regarding bedroom space for foster children.
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Foster Care Bedroom Requirements
Minimum Bedroom Size for Fostering
Most states do not have a minimum bedroom size. Though most require a specific amount of square feet in the home per child. In general, the room should be large enough to provide a separate bed for each child in the room and space to store personal belongings.
Physical Bedroom Requirements
A bedroom should have both a window and a door providing two exits for fire safety. There should be a smoke detector near if not in the bedroom itself.
For privacy, the room should have a door and actual walls. The room should be a separate room of the house, not sectioned with movable particians.
Though for the purposes of real estate sales, a room must have a closet to be considered a bedroom, for the purposes of foster care, as long as the room has both a window and a door and room for a bed and some type of clothing storage, most states will allow a room such as an office or bonus room to be used as a bedroom.
Other Safety Concerns
Many states will require monthly home safety checks to be completed once foster children are placed in the home. You can find a monthly home safety checklist here. Some safety issues to address are:
- foster homes must comply with all State and local zoning, building, and fire and safety codes.
- The home must be kept clean, in good repair, and free from hazardous conditions.
- Hazardous materials, including medications, household chemicals, tools, and weapons and ammunition, must be stored in a place that is inaccessible to children.
- Firearms in the home must be locked in cabinets, gun safes, or other containers that are inaccessible to children, and ammunition must be kept in separate, locked containers.
- An adequate and safe heating and cooling source must be provided with appropriate ventilation for the health of the children
- The bedroom and living spaces must have access to bathroom facilities.
Number of Children Per Room
Only nineteen states have regulations that specify a maximum number of children allowed in each bedroom. Most of those states limit the number of children to two per bedroom, but will allow exceptions to be made for three children or in cases of siblings.
Exceptions can also be made in instances where a home has an abnormally large bedroom.
Thirty-seven states require a sufficient number of bedrooms so that children of the opposite sex do not share a room.
Children who are infants are allowed to sleep in the room with an adult. However, in 25 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands, children who are older than infants are not allowed to sleep in the same room as an adult. Most states consider children under two years old infants.
Each child must be provided with his or her own bed. Infants must sleep in cribs that meet all relevant safety standards. Beds can be bunk beds, day beds or cribs.
We typically buy a new convertible crib for a baby that will transition from crib to toddler bed, to twin or full sized bed.
Storage for Personal Belongings
The home must be large enough to provide adequate space for living, eating, study, and play for all occupants, including the children in foster care. This includes providing adequate storage space for the child’s personal belongings. Keeping a room organized and neat will help small spaces seem larger.