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Course Summary

Especially while in foster care, a young person's care and development, should be the top concern of all supportive adults involved. Foster parents may need to take unique steps to ensure the young person's well-being if the child's cultural background is different from than their own. This means creating an intentional plan to develop a thorough respect and understanding of the young person's religion, cultural values, customs, and beliefs. As outlined in the following course, honoring a child or young person’s cultural connections, practices, and specific needs can give a young person a sense of permanency and belonging that will benefit them in emotional, mental and spiritual ways.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Considerations to weigh before committing to becoming a parent to a young person of a different race

  • Actions to take to ensure children and youth in care maintain a strong sense of racial identity and connection to culture

  • the importance of cultural connections for children and youth in care

  • Strategies to minimize the impact of being placed in a home that is culturally different to a child or youth’s own identity and culture

  • Steps to take to make your home a bicultural home that celebrates a bicultural family

Transracial Parenting in Foster Care and Adoption

Step 1

Review the  "Transracial Parenting in Foster Care and Adoption" guidebook created to help parents and children in transracial homes learn how to thrive in and celebrate their bicultural family; and for children to gain a strong sense of racial identity and cultural connections.

Step 2

Watch the following video to gain perspective of the impact living in a home outside of their own culture or ethnic background can have on a young person in foster care 

Step 3

Review this booklet "In the Rainbow: Cultural Best Practices in Foster Care" created by C. Kimo Alameda, Ph. D, to learn how Hawai'i, the country's most diverse state, is mindful of the trauma youth have experienced coming into the foster care system and how to minimize the impact of being placed in a home that is culturally different to a child or youth’s own identity and culture.

Step 4

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

What challenges have you faced, or what challenges might you anticipate facing, as a bicultural foster parent?

Step 5

Finished the module? If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate! 

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Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

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Course Discussion

kmccullough77's picture

kmccullough77 said:

We are fostering a biracial child right now and it is very important to us that we are intentional about where we live, go to school, and go to church. I want our foster children to have that sense of community from their own race as much as possible. Our family also loves learning about other cultures, it really is a beautiful thing when you get to enjoy all the cultures of the world.
ccnewsom2020's picture

ccnewsom2020 said:

This lesson is right on time. I am currently fostering a mexican child in a african american household. There is some distancing happening with the children, he needs a mexican barber and mexican food lol.
beks1375's picture

beks1375 said:

I wouldn't say challenges per say but I have opened even my own family up to some of the traditions and practices and that are a part of my child culture and I think that has brought our village a lot closer.
Katchick's picture

Katchick said:

Ive learned a lot about different cultures threw fostering. We will look up different recipes and holidays to share with our kiddos
smjenerette's picture

smjenerette said:

I too had to learn the difference in hair and skin care for my african american kids, and also had to learn to cook what was a normal menu for a hispanic 6 year old.
dsalmans's picture

dsalmans said:

My wife and I have faced many challenges being a bicultural foster family who is now seeking adoption with our current placement. Many of which have not presented with too big of a challenge yet as our child is only two but we foresee some obstacles in the future as well. Hair has been one of the bigger challenges as it is contrasting to the routine and maintenance that we have had our entire lives. Being able to learn from a community that understands what we are going through is a big deal and much appreciated. We have found that people are very curious and we get a lot of "double takes" when we are together in public but for the most part, people are very welcoming and accepting of our current situation.
sarahhmiller1970@gmail.com's picture

sarahhmiller197... said:

As white parents of African American and Hispanic foster and adopted kids - one of our biggest challenges has been finding the "right" skin and hair products. There is so much to choose from!
wrmiller13@gmail.com's picture

[email protected] said:

As a multi-cultural foster and adoptive parent - one of the challenges we have faced is "the hair" - my wife and I are white and the black children we have had have always needed extra care for their hair. And that is not even mentioning the comments and weird looks we get when we are shopping in the African American hair products!
Quortney88's picture

Quortney88 said:

Very informative
pantsmcallister's picture

pantsmcallister said:

The resources do a great job of reimforcing all the things that we can do as a foster family to build in multiculturalism into the experience our focster kids have in our house. The stories in the video are great to hear what those kids noticed in their time in others homes re: culture.