3.13.1 Children's Bedrooms


  1. Bedroom Furniture, Facilities, Equipment and Decoration
  2. Bedroom Security and Keys
  3. Monitoring Arrangements
  4. Staff/Carer Presence in Rooms
  5. Visiting and Sharing Rooms
  6. Children With Disabilities

1. 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. In Children’s Homes each child should have a single bedroom or their own area in a double bedroom, of a suitable size, with a suitable bed and bedding, seating, storage for clothes, lockable or otherwise safe storage for personal possessions, a window with curtains (or other window covering), lighting sufficient to read by, carpet or other appropriate floor covering, and heating.

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.

2. Bedroom Security and Keys

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

For a children’s residential placement, If locks are fitted to children’s bedroom doors, the social worker should be consulted before the child is provided with a key; and any decision to provide a key should be set out in the Placement Plan.

For a Foster Placement lock on bedroom’s doors is generally not encouraged. If the Foster Carers is of the opinion that a lock is appropriate they must in the first instance contact the Child/Young Person’s Social Worker. Any decisions must be recorded within the Placement Plan.

3. Monitoring Arrangements

Where it is necessary to install or use listening or other strategies to monitor children including, in Children’s Residential Placements, the use of glass panels or waking night carer, these arrangements must be set out in relevant Placement Plans for individual children.

4. Staff/Carer Presence in Rooms

Children’s privacy should be respected.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances (see next paragraph), staff/carers should knock bedroom doors before entering children’s bedrooms; and then only enter with permission.

The exceptional circumstances, where staff/carers may have to enter children’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, and the procedures set out in Physical Intervention Procedure, must be adhered to.

5. Visiting and Sharing Rooms

Amended June 2009: This section was amended to include new guidance regarding the sharing of rooms by children in Foster Care.

Children in Children's Homes may not share bedrooms or receive visitors in their bedrooms unless a risk assessment has been undertaken and it 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. 

For children placed in Foster Care, please Bedroom Sharing Procedure.

6. Children With Disabilities

Where necessary because of children’s disabilities or other needs, an effective emergency call system is provided with sufficient and appropriately located call points readily accessible to children in emergency (e.g. pull cords that can be reached after falling). The system is operational and effective in summoning prompt staff assistance.

Following an assessment of need the placement will provide sufficient and appropriate equipment (via Occupational Health) such as lifts, hoists and wheelchairs, and such equipment is regularly serviced. Rooms used to accommodate disabled children must, if relevant, have sufficient space for the easy manoeuvrability of wheelchairs and specialised equipment such as hoists.