As a foster carer, it is your duty to provide a safe space in the form of a bedroom for any child coming into your home. Thankfully, there are plenty of routes to achieving this. It’s not about how big a room is or how many amenities are inside it, it is about the way it feels and what it represents. Every carer has to know how to make this happen, so if you are in this position and struggling for inspiration, read the guide below to find out how to create a safe haven bedroom.
Cover The Basics For Your Safe Haven Bedroom
As a minimum requirement, the basics must be taken care of – a foster agency like The FCA can offer advice on this. Always ensure there is a suitable bed with a decent mattress, clean linen, and towels for the foster child. If you know the age of the child, that gives you more to work with, but it’s not always possible to have this information with enough time to take action. Regardless, a bed is a number one necessity! Other essentials include appropriate toiletries set, somewhere to store clothes, basic items like socks just in case, and a light source. Everything else can be taken care of after they actually arrive.
Avoid decorating in any particular theme. You never know what a child will want or like, and they may reject the space in the first instance in the context of reluctance to make it their own. It also helps short-term carers to not have to redecorate between every transition.
Even if they arrive with one bag of personal belongings, make sure they have a place to set their things up to feel like the space is their own. Being able to take ownership in a new environment provides an irreplaceable sense of autonomy. Having somewhere to put the things that you can organize and take charge of is the best way to achieve this.
Accept Change And Suggestions
Though it may be your house, you have opened your door to a new resident. They will naturally bring their ideas to the table as to what they want the space to look like. It is your job to accept these (within reason) and accommodate them where appropriate.
Safety Is A Priority
Above all else, a room must feel safe. There have to be locks installed on the windows to provide a sense of security from the outside world and a fully functioning door. It is never appropriate to put a lock on a child’s door, regardless of whether they are a foster placement or otherwise, so avoid this.
Safe havens take a while to cook up, but if the foundations have been laid alongside a solid but flexible base, everything will come through.