There are many misconceptions about foster care in the world. One common misconception is that you have to own a house with a spare bedroom in order to be a foster parent. This is simply not true. While any extra space you can provide is ideal, it is possible to be a foster parent even in just a one bedroom apartment.
It is important to note that the space requirements for foster children do vary by state. However, it is generally accepted in most states that an infant and young toddler can sleep in a crib in the foster parent’s room. If you live in a one bedroom apartment, you likely can foster any child under the age of 3 if you have adequate space for a crib in your room. Please contact your local social services agency for more detailed information on your state.
If you wish to foster an older child, you will likely need to move into a new apartment or house that has a second bedroom. Most states require that any child above the age of 3 has their own bedroom. You cannot use a living room, dining room, or other similar rooms in place of a bedroom. You also cannot sleep on the couch while the child takes your room. You must have adequate space for you and the child to be licensed to foster. Once again, these requirements may vary by state.
You may wish to wait until you have a second bedroom instead of fostering in a one bedroom. Although I completely understand this logic, especially if you wish to foster an older child, I do urge you to remember the desperate need for foster parents at every age. It can also be helpful experience to foster younger children before foster older children. If you don’t want to foster a baby or toddler long term, consider becoming a respite caregiver or only accept emergency placements.