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Why do I need a spare room in my home to foster?

Brown wooden bed with white bedspread

Foster carers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures with one goal: helping children and young people who are in need of a place where they can call home either temporarily or long-term.

If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, it is important to understand what eligibility criteria is required to foster, such as having a spare bedroom for each child you foster*.

Many people who enquire about fostering are unaware of this essential requirement. We would like to explain why this is a national standard to becoming a foster carer and how it can also make your foster child feel more secure and comfortable in your home.

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Criteria to foster

To become a foster carer in Bradford, you need to be aged over 21, read, write and speak English well and have a spare bedroom for a foster child to stay in.

To help you attend meetings, transport children to and from school and get involved in our community, we advise all carers to live within, or near the Bradford district. Learn more about our fostering requirements here.

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Providing security and privacy

When a foster child enters care, they move into a new environment which may be extremely different from the home they previously lived in. This is likely to be a very stressful time for the child.

To help foster children adjust to their new environment, it is extremely important for children to have their own space which they can call their own, where they feel safe and comfortable.

If a foster child feels comfortable in their own space, they are more likely to settle in faster, which will aid their development and understanding of their situation in the long term.

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It helps a foster child display their personality

From colour schemes to prints and posters, foster children with their own bedroom are able to personalise their space to their liking, helping them feel more comfortable in your home.

Changes don’t have to be expensive - a poster of your foster child’s favourite band or football team can bring a personal feel to a space.

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Fees and allowances

As a new full-time foster carer, you will receive an additional financial allowance to purchase any essential equipment you may need, including bedroom furniture, safety gates and car seats, or we can purchase them to be delivered directly to you.

Learn more about the fees and allowances you will receive as a foster carer on our Money Matters page.

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Fostering siblings and babies

If you foster siblings, they may be able to share a bedroom in your home. This is dependent on their age, their needs and wishes and the advice of their social worker.

If you foster babies under the age of 12 months, they can share a bedroom with you, the foster carer.

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What size does a foster child’s bedroom need to be?

A foster child’s bedroom needs to be large enough to fit a single bed, a wardrobe or a chest of drawers and a desk in so your foster child can complete their school work and have a space to relax. The bedroom used for fostering should be on the same floor as your bedroom.

Early on during your fostering assessment, we will visit your home to determine whether the planned bedroom meets our requirements and a child’s needs.

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Fostering and renting

You do not need to own your own home to foster, but if you rent your home, you will need to have a long term lease and gain permission from your landlord to foster in the property.

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Would you like to learn more about fostering?

There is no doubt that fostering changes lives. If you would like to support children and young people in the Bradford district, we would be delighted to hear from you. Book an information call back now and chat with our friendly team about life as a foster carer.

Alternatively, please download our information pack, which is filled with important information about the role of a foster carer and the Bradford Council fostering service.

*If you foster siblings, they may be able to share a bedroom in your home. This is dependent on their age, their needs and wishes and the advice of their social worker.

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