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12.12 Bedroom Sharing in Fostering Households

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter details the procedures to be followed when considering the bedroom arrangements for a Looked After Child in a foster home.

RELEVANT LEGISLATION AND GUIDANCE

Fostering Services (England) Regulations 2011

Fostering National Minimum Standards 2011, Standard 10 and 15

AMENDMENT

In September 2012, Section 7, Records was added.


Contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. Fostering Provider's Position
  3. Bedroom Sharing
  4. Documentation for Completion
  5. Recruitment of Foster Carers
  6. Exceptional Circumstances
  7. Records

    Appendix 1: Bedroom Sharing in Fostering Households


1. Introduction

1.1 This policy confirms the procedures to be followed when considering the bedroom arrangements for a Looked After Child in a foster household. All Looked After Children should have adequate space and privacy and should be cared for safely. The National Minimum Standards (2011), Standard 10, specifically applies in this policy.
1.2 Standard 10 requires the fostering provider to make available foster carers who provide a safe, healthy and nurturing environment. Each child placed has his/her own bed and accommodation arrangements reflect the child's assessed need for privacy and space or any specific need resulting from a disability (10.1). Standard 10.6 states that each foster child, aged three years and over, should have her/his own bedroom. This is NOT a regulatory requirement and, if the child has the potential to display bullying behaviour or, is known to have been abused, or it is known that the child has abused another child, then the child's needs and the needs of all other children in the foster home are assessed before any decision is made to allow sharing of bedrooms. The decision making process and the outcome of that risk assessment is recorded in writing. (10.6). The responsibility for undertaking this assessment lies with the supervising worker in conjunction with the children’s social workers and the children.
1.3 Standard 15 requires fostering providers to ensure that a child placed in foster care is carefully matched with a foster carer capable of meeting his/her assessed needs. In some circumstances, this may be identified as a child having his/her own bedroom. In other circumstances, the sharing of a bedroom may be risk assessed as appropriate.


2. Fostering Provider's Position

2.1 It is the view of this fostering provider, that whilst striving to achieve compliance with Standard 10.6, this will neither be achievable nor is appropriate in every child's circumstance.
2.2 For some fee paid foster carers, a child has to have his/her own bedroom.


3. Bedroom Sharing

3.1 When determining the appropriateness, of a child sharing a bedroom, the specific needs of the child should be taken into consideration e.g. enuresis, waking in the night, requiring the light on. For a child in adolescence, the provision of privacy and adequate personal space should be considered.
3.2 A child over the age of 5 years should not share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex.
3.3 A child under the age of 2 years can share the foster carer's bedroom.
3.4 A child should not share a foster carer's bed in any circumstances.
3.5 Arrangements that involve sharing a bedroom in holiday circumstances should be subject to a separate risk assessment. Similarly, the sharing of bedrooms, upon friends/family visiting the foster household, should be subject to a separate risk assessment.


4. Documentation for Completion

4.1 The request for a foster placement and accompanying risk assessment should identify a Looked After Child's needs.
4.2 The Foster Carer's Safe Caring Policy and the Foster Carers' Health and Safety Assessment should both address the bedroom arrangements, within the foster household, and the space available for a looked after child.
4.3

The bedroom sharing assessment should be reviewed at least annually at the time of the carers’ review and following any change of circumstances or a change of the child’s presentation or behaviour.


5. Recruitment of Foster Carers

5.1 The recruitment of Foster Carers should take this policy into consideration from the initial enquiry stage.


6. Exceptional Circumstances

In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to act outside of this policy. Such a circumstance could, for example, involve the bedroom sharing arrangements for a sibling group. In such circumstances, the rationale for acting outside of the policy should be clearly recorded on the foster carer's file. The decision to act outside of the policy should be made by the service manager (fostering).


7. Records

7.1 A central record of children sharing a bedroom will be kept by the Service Manager (Fostering) (see Appendix 1: Bedroom Sharing in Fostering Households).


Appendix 1: Bedroom Sharing in Fostering Households

Click here to view Appendix 1: Bedroom Sharing in Fostering Households.

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