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3.13.1 Children's Bedrooms

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to children placed in Southwark's foster homes, but the principles apply to the placement of all Looked After Children. Therefore, where Looked After Children are placed with parents, kinship carers or in placements not managed by the authority, the social worker must ensure these or other adequate procedures are applied.

AMENDMENT

Section 6, Visiting and Sharing Rooms was amended in December 2011 in relation to the sharing of bedrooms as a result of the Children's Homes (Amendment) Regulations 2011, Fostering Services Regulations 2011, Associated Guidance and National Minimum Standards.


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. Visiting and Sharing Rooms


1. Planning

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

These arrangements should be set out in the Foster Care Agreement or in the Placement Plan/Placement Information Record for an individual child


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.


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 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, undertake cleaning, return or remove soiled clothing; 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.

See Barricading Procedure.


6. Visiting and Sharing Rooms

Children may not 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 Information Record.

Each child over three must have their own bedroom in a foster home or, where this is not possible, the sharing of the bedroom has been agreed by the placing authority.

Children placed in children's homes on an emergency basis may not share bedrooms (other than with siblings) until an assessment has been carried out to ascertain their views and the views of those who already sleep in the bedroom. Apart from this, a request to change or share a bedroom will be given serious consideration by the Home's Manager. However, not more than two children may share a bedroom and children may not share bedrooms unless the child(ren) freely agree to the arrangement, they are of the same gender and similar age (other than siblings). Before coming to a decision, the Home's Manager will undertake an assessment to ascertain the wishes and views of the child who already occupies the bedroom and will consult relevant social workers.

End