Many parents have wondered, “Does CPS require a child to have their own room?” It’s a reasonable question. After all, CPS considers sleeping arrangements an important part of any home visit.
However, not everyone can afford to have a bedroom for each child. Many children share rooms with siblings or even parents. Of course, families that lack stable housing may have even more complicated sleeping arrangements.
So, let’s get right to the question.
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Does CPS require a child to have their own room?
The short answer is no, CPS does not require a child to have their own room. However, there are a lot of rules about who can share bedrooms.
If your child is sharing a room with someone, you’ll want to stick around and read all the rules so that you don’t end up in trouble with Child Protective Services.
No more than two people per bedroom.
Generally, a bedroom should not have more than two children in it. Two people per bedroom is generally considered an occupancy limit for rental purposes. In many cases, there is a “2+1” occupancy limit that states you can have two people per bedroom, plus one person in a living space.
Boys and girls ages 5+ should not share a room.
CPS generally does not approve of boys and girls sharing a bedroom after the age of five years old. If one sibling is over the age of five, you should do whatever you can to ensure that they are not sharing the room with someone of the opposite gender.
If you have one child of each gender, then the answer to “does CPS require a child to have their own room?” appears to be yes.
In California and possibly other states, caregivers can request alternative plans based on a child’s stated gender identity.
Adults and children should not share rooms.
According to this document from the California Department of Social Services, a child should not share a bedroom with an adult unless the child is an infant. There is also an exception for minor parents, who may share a bedroom with their child.
However, those rules also state that there should never be more than two adults and two infants per bedroom.
Bedrooms must meet minimum safety requirements.
Any room that is used for a bedroom must have a window that can be opened in case of an emergency. CPS generally frowns on using closets, hallways and other spaces as bedrooms because it can pose a safety hazard in the event of a fire, earthquake or other emergency.
Each child should have a safe bed to sleep in.
Although the answer to “does CPS require a child to have their own room?” is no, it is advisable for each child to have their own bed with a clean linens, pillows, blankets and mattress.
Children under the age of 18 months should sleep in a crib without any blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumper pads or other materials.
Any bunk beds should have railings on both sides of the upper bed to prevent falls. Children who sleep in the top bunk must be old enough and mature enough to climb in and out of the bed safely and without assistance. Generally, children under six years old should not have the top bunk. Beds with more than two tiers should not be used.
What if our housing doesn’t meet these requirements?
Just because your situation does not match these standards does not mean that your children will be automatically removed from your home. CPS can instruct you to correct deficiencies and they can connect you to resources that can help. You can also contact any of these legal aid resources if you have trouble with CPS.