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3.13.1 Children's Bedrooms

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in foster and residential care managed by the authority, but the principles apply to the placement of every Looked After Child. Therefore, where a Looked After Child is placed with parents, relatives or friends or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.


Contents

  1. Planning  
  2. Bedroom Furniture, Facilities, Equipment and Decoration  
  3. Bedroom Security and Keys  
  4. Monitoring Arrangements  
  5. Staff/Carer Presence in Rooms  
  6. Sharing of Rooms in Residential Homes
  7. Sharing of Rooms in Foster Care


1. Planning

Suitable arrangements should exist in all foster homes and children’s homes for matters relating to children’s bedrooms, including security, visiting or sharing of bedrooms etc.

These arrangements should be set out in the home’s Statement of Purpose, Foster Care Agreement or in the Placement Plan/Placement Information Record for an individual child

Children in foster care who are sleeping in bunk beds should be the subject of a risk assessment which bears in mind their age and the stage of their development.


2. Bedroom Furniture, Facilities, Equipment and Decoration

Children’s bedrooms should be pleasantly furnished, equipped and decorated in a manner appropriate to their individual needs, interests and choices. 

Children should be encouraged to personalise their bedrooms, with posters, pictures and personal items of their choice.

Children of an appropriate age and level of understanding should be encouraged and supported to purchase furniture, equipment or decorations, preferably as part of a plan to prepare the child for independence.


3. Bedroom Security and Keys

Children should have adequate, safe, storage for their belongings and medicines, if permitted to administer their own. 

If it is necessary to do so, to protect children or their belongings, bedrooms may be fitted with locks or other forms of security. If locks are fitted, keys may be made available to children and must be able to be opened by staff in an emergency.


4. Monitoring Arrangements

Where it is necessary to install or use listening or other strategies to monitor children, these arrangements must be set out in the Placement Plan/Placement Information Record for individual children.


5. Staff/Carer Presence in Rooms

Children’s privacy should be respected.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances, staff/carers should knock the door before entering children’s bedrooms; and then only enter with their permission.

The exceptional circumstances where staff or carers may have to enter a child’s bedroom without knocking or asking permission are as follows:

  • To wake a heavy sleeper, or remove soiled clothing/bedding; though, in these circumstances, the child should have been told/warned that this may be necessary;
  • To take necessary action, including forcing entry, to protect the child or others from Injury or to prevent likely Damage to Property. The taking of such action is a form of Physical Intervention;
  • To look for information which may help to find the whereabouts of a missing child.
See also Barricading Procedure.


6. Sharing of Rooms in Residential Homes

Children placed in residential homes would not be subject to sharing bedrooms but would be able to have visitors/friends and overnight guests where this has been agreed through the risk assessment process. These arrangements should also be included within the Care Plan/ Placement Plan/Placement Information Record.


7. Sharing of Rooms in Foster Care

Children may not share bedrooms or receive visitors in their bedrooms unless this has been agreed by the social worker, the children’s views and wishes have been obtained and considered, and the arrangements are outlined in the relevant Placement Plan.

 As a general rule, children of different gender over the age of eight or children who may present a risk to other children should not share a bedroom unless a risk assessment has been carried out.

End