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How Many Foster Children Can You Have In One Room?

JulieC's picture

By JulieC - Posted on 29 February 2008

During our second PRIDE class, we learned a little more about the process, and one of the questions that was asked when we began discussing children and sleeping arrangements, was "how many children can you have in one bedroom?"  The answer may surprise you.

I was a little shocked to find out that you can have up to four children of the same sex in one bedroom.  They said it can get quite crowded, and it isn't recommended, but it is still allowed.  Now before you begin picturing houses packed full of foster children, and greedy foster parents collecting check after check for housing all of these kids, states do put a limit as to how many children you can have in your home at one time.  Sure exceptions can be made on a case by case basis, but in general, the rules are the rules.

In our state the limit on children in the home is 6, and this includes any biological children who are still living at home.  So if you have two biological children in the home, you would be limited to 4 foster children, who could potentially live in the same room, if they all happened to be of the same gender.

Do you think that the children would be happy to have a safe and loving house, even if they were cramped together into one bedroom, or would the stress of living in such close quarters be too much for already emotionally unhealthy and unstable children to bare?  Is 4 children in one room just too much, or is it a realistic limit set by the state?

scrapsbynobody's picture

In some cases I think siblings in particular, could find it very comforting to all be together, and there is no reason the room needs to be cramped and uncomfortable. With larger sib groups, it may be a shared space, or separate homes.

But when you have children who don't know one another, packing them in can really be asking for trouble. It is very hard to monitor what goes on behind closed doors, and children who have been in care for any length of time often adopt a very "Lord of the Flies" mentality. Children could be victimized right under your nose, and how would you know?

I think it is less about space, and more about boundaries and privacy. Each situation has to be weighed very carefully, for the safety of all of the children involved.

In our home, our adopted children need very high levels of supervision, so bedrooms are for sleeping, and playrooms are for playing. The size of the bedroom doesn't matter much, as it is used to sleep and store clothing. The playroom on the other hand, is quite spacious and full of fun stuff. And on a different note, our children found it very hard to settle down in a room full of stuff. Now all we keep in their room is a bookshelf of books, and a few stuffed animals on each bed. They go to sleep quickly and with less fuss, and they wake up and read quietly in the morning, rather than creating chaos and fighting.