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Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual
Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual Nottingham City Safeguarding Children’s Board Procedures Manual

6.1.12 Bedroom Sharing Policy and Procedure

This chapter was added to the manual in February 2012.


  1. Policy Aim
  2. Legislative Summary
  3. Key Policy Objectives
  4. Key Actions
  5. Procedure

1. Policy Aim

1.1 For all children in foster care placements to have adequate space and privacy and to be cared for safely.

2. Legislative Summary

2.1 Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards (2011).

3. Key Policy Objectives

3.1 For children entering new foster care placements to be appropriately matched with a placement that has appropriate bedroom space taking into account the age and needs of the child.
3.2 For children in placement to have adequate privacy and bedroom space, to preserve dignity and provision for the child to have space to keep their possessions.
3.3 For the risk assessment to be considered when making an appropriate match with the placement to ensure bedroom sharing is appropriate and does not hinder the child’s safety and well-being.
3.4 For babies under 6 months of age to be cared for in accordance with Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) current safe sleeping guidelines (Paragraph 5.3).

4. Key Actions

The actions that will be carried out by the Department that will secure the key objectives.

5. Procedure

Caption: procedure table

Departmental Aims

Nottingham City Council aims to ensure that unrelated children over 3 years old will not share a bedroom.
5.1 Children over the age of 5 will not share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex.
5.2 Any new applicants must have a spare single room for 1 child or 2 siblings to share.
5.3 Babies and infants up to age 3 years may share the foster carers bedroom.
5.4 Any new applicants must have bedroom space compatible with the above.

The department aims to fulfil its responsibilities under the Fostering Services: National Minimum Standards for foster care (2011) namely:

  1. To ensure foster carer homes can comfortably accommodate all who live there including where appropriate any suitable aids and adaptations provided and fitted by suitably trained staff when caring for a disabled child;
  2. To ensure that where possible each child over the age of three has their own bedroom;
  3. To ensure that before seeking agreement for the sharing of a bedroom, the fostering service provider takes into account any potential for bullying, any history of abuse or abusive behaviour, the wishes of the children concerned and all other pertinent facts. The decision making process and outcome of the assessment are recorded in writing where bedroom sharing is agreed.


5.6 Placing officers should demonstrate consultation with existing children in placement, and consideration of risk assessment when placing a child in a new foster placement especially if it is expected that a child will be sharing a bedroom.
5.7 Forward planning needs to be incorporated at the point of agreeing a placement in terms of what will happen when a child requires their own bedroom, and considering whether a foster carer has sufficient bedroom space in the medium term future. This will prevent unnecessary moves for the child accommodated by the foster carer.

Risk Assessment

5.8 Risk assessment will take place at the point of placement referral and as part of the matching process and will be recorded in the children’s placement team referral document.

Issues to be considered include:

  • Age and gender of the children sharing;
  • Sleeping arrangements, bunk beds etc. (see Bunk Beds Guidance);
  • Relationships with other children in the placement;
  • Specific needs of the child sharing a room i.e. enuresis, children waking in the night, requiring the light on etc;
  • Sexualised behaviour of the child being placed and the children in the placement;
  • The provision in placement for privacy and adequate personal space including storage, with special consideration being given to a child in adolescence.

Care of Babies Under the Age of 6 Months

5.10 At no point should a baby sleep in the foster carer’s bed.
5.11 Bedroom provision should be anticipated in advance of when the child is ready to move into a bedroom of its own.

Sibling Groups

Sibling Groups or close relatives where all children are under the age of 5 years may be assessed, for sharing a bedroom together.
5.12 After the age of 5 years old only same sex sibling or close relatives may be assessed for sharing a bedroom.

Bunk Beds Guidance

Bunk beds need special consideration, as they do not always allow for privacy for the child. Bunk beds should be avoided if the child experiences enuresis, and if possible should only be used if children using them have other areas in the placement that allow for privacy and the children are siblings.