Routine matters such as difficulty sleeping and eating are managed differently in all families. A child in your care may be used to sleeping with others or alone. Following are some guidelines that will support children’s sleeping and prioritise the safety of the children in your care:
- Babies need their own space for sleeping - avoid having a baby in your own bed. Instead, you can place their cot or bassinette near your bed.
- Put babies to sleep on their backs on a firm surface with their face clear – this helps them breathe freely and not get too hot.
- Children over the age of one year should not share a bedroom with you unless it’s in relation to the child’s needs.
- Where possible, children aged over six years old should not share a bedroom with a child of the opposite sex.
Keep in mind that there must be one bed/mattress or other culturally and age-appropriate bedding for each child in care.
The Department of Children and Families is aware that there may need to be some flexibility in the sleeping arrangements, particularly if you are a kinship carer. If you have any questions about sleeping arrangements or boundaries at home, please talk to the child’s Case Manager.
The number of bedrooms and proposed sleeping arrangements are discussed as part of the Foster and Kinship Carer Induction Training. The Department of Children and Families will consider purchasing extra bedding for the child if needed.
For information on how to help children in your care develop good sleep habits and feel safe to sleep, read the Sleep and your child fact sheet.