The topic of sleeping arrangements might not seem like an area that needs legislation, but it does. In the state of New York, sleeping arrangement laws are used to ensure that children in the care of foster parents, day cares and even at home have adequate space and a proper place to sleep. There are some laws that apply to every specific situation in which a child can be found, and others are blanket rules by which even parents should abide.
For Day Care Providers
Section 416.1 of the New York State Code covers the requirements for day care providers in the areas of licensing and maintaining their facilities. These requirements include some specific sleeping arrangement details. Under this law, the children should sleep in a room with ample space between beds for the caregivers to move around and supervise. There should be two ways to enter and exit the room. The law also specifies the temperature of the room and also the composition of the sleeping areas. Section 416.3 Subsection C stipulates that children of the opposite sex cannot share a sleeping area if they are over the age of 4 and that no child over the age of 3 can sleep in a room with an adult of the opposite sex. Section 416.7 Subsection I even has requirements for placing an infant to sleep safely.
For Foster Families
The New York State Code has many laws to protect children, while keeping siblings together as much as possible. Some of the laws cover opposite sexes. No children of the opposite sex are to occupy the same room if the children are over the age of 6. Infants and adults can't share a sleeping area if they are of the opposite sex as well. Each child, no matter what his age may be, must have his own bed in which to sleep. Infants must have their own cribs. The rooms have to be up to New York's fire code standards, and the structure must comply with all building codes to ensure the safety of the kids inside the rooms.
New York state laws do not intrude into the private homes of traditional families. The only time this occurs is when custody disputes occur or the children come under the supervision of the New York Office of Children and Family Services. When any of these situations occur, the parents must comply with the same rules that foster families do for child sleeping arrangements.
In 2010, the state of New York's child protection agencies came together to amend the law on opposite sexes sleeping together. To help with their policy of keeping siblings and half siblings together, the new policy would make an allowance. Brothers and sisters over the age of 7 could room together if doing so is safe and healthy for the kids. Child protective agency workers believe that this will help in their efforts to keep siblings together in the foster care system.