May 21, 2010

Why Foster?

Good Info To Have



  I think that a lot of people (who have never been to our house) hear that we have five kids at a time and assume we live in some mansion.  But that’s not the case.  Although, when we do have five kids running around, sometimes I wish we did.

  There are some really pretty specific space guidelines for fostering that outline how many kids your house can hold.  {I’m sure these vary some from state to state – so check with your local agency!}  Where we live, this is the breakdown:

  •    Minimum of 75 square feet to count a room as a bedroom.
  •    After that, it is 90 square feet for two in a bedroom, 135 square feet for three,   etc.
  •    Basically 45 square feet per child.



  •    - Every bedroom used for fostering has to have separate storage space (dresser and or closet) for each child in the room.  (As long as the kids have space to put their stuff, you’re good.)
  • Children six and older can only stay in the same room as children of the same sex, regardless of sibling status.
  • Only children over six can stay in the top bunk of bunk beds.


Brian and I live in a three bedroom house, that also has a small office (no closet).  Recently, in order to make more space, we moved our room into the small office room.  It’s tight, but we don’t spend a lot of time in our room – what’s the old adage?  Less is more?  Something like that.

One of the bedrooms is very small – that’s Sylvie’s room.

The room that is supposed to be the master bedroom is where the boys currently stay, and if their siblings move in, is also where their brother would stay.

The third bedroom is large enough for two children, and has a set of bunk beds in it.

I’m pretty sure the way we have it now, we could take four foster kids regardless of age and sex. 


So, we don’t live in a mansion.  We just like to be close.  And if you have any inkling at all that you’d like to foster, I bet if you take a close look at your floor plan, you might just be able to figure out the space predicament!


{If you have any questions, please let me know!  I’ll do my best to answer them, or point you in the direction of someone who can.  You can leave questions in the question box in the right of the blog, in the comments, or you can e-mail me!  You should foster, you’d be great at it.}


  1. Ours isn't quite as small, but we're getting questions as far as where we'll put the can share! If I have to share, they certainly can too! ;)

  2. I was surprised by just how little space was required when I started fostering. In my state, the room has to be at least 80 sq. feet, but it's 40 sq. feet per child. Children under 2 years old are also allowed to sleep in the foster parents' bedroom in a separate bed. I like to keep infants in my room at the beginning of their placement until I know just how much care they require at night (especially because our bedrooms are on separate floors).

  3. I worried when we were told about the guidelines for sharing rooms, we have 4 kids of our own. But after a prayer a solution came to mind.

  4. we make kids share, I think it builds character.

  5. Our space is very similar just less kids right now... but with fostering you never know what the next phone call might have in store!

    I think that this is a common misconception about fostering, that you need some massive space but when you measure it out its really not that much at all. Great post!

    In Pa baby's can stay in foster parents room up to a year and boys and girls can share until 5. It seems like the square footage is about the same.

  6. ben and i had our two little ones, a boy and a girl in the same room for a while. we only have a three bedroom house and our 7 year had his own room. i got uncomfortable with my little boy in with the little girl so we turned our family room (thankfully we had another living room) into our bedroom so all three kids could have their own room.

    we are now in the process of finishing our basement so that can be the new family room so we can keep the house as a four bedroom.

    just wanted you to know you aren't alone with having to switch everything around. it's worth it though!


Thanks for commenting!!


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