Credit hours:

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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Course Discussion

Bikala14's picture

Bikala14 said:

We have a black foster child and have worked hard to educate ourselves to be aware of his perspective and work to making him feel accepted. We have placed a strong focus on not only having peers with similar culture but also to have adult mentors who share his cultural roots and can share an empathy that we may not be able to share with him however much we would like to.
bbedient's picture

bbedient said:

It has been an incredibly humbling and educational experience for me to learn by trial and error how to instill a sense of pride and acceptance in my son about who he is, and where he comes from. It has not been a quick journey. It has been a change of life and habit for me, and I continue to see room for change in the way I form his home experience.
Ryguythesciguy's picture

Ryguythesciguy said:

It would be important to me to make sure all of my family (extended included) was ready to welcome children with different racial backgrounds into the family as well to limit potential difficulties.
KimmersA8's picture

KimmersA8 said:

An area of growth/need I can see is to be more intentional about broadening our cultural circle. One of the above articles has some easy tips on ways to do so.
LindsayMeyer's picture

LindsayMeyer said:

I am most fearful of facing challenges of having a multi-cultural placement in a non-diverse neighborhood. I am prepared to offer mutli-cultural opportunities for my foster child and will work to educate myself and provide them many opportunities, but I know that the neighborhood and school district is not a diverse environment for them.
briancampbell7066's picture

briancampbell7066 said:

We recently adopted an African-American boy, but we live in a mostly Caucasian community. We really want him to be secure in his identity but we also know not everyone around us will be understanding of his needs.
meekaa's picture

meekaa said:

my wife and I are new to foster care/Parenting; we have recently received our license and it is( as you know for 6 months period) we have not had a placement but are looking to the adventures ahead
shburrough's picture

shburrough said:

Dealing with racism and issues with peers.
Micaht333's picture

Micaht333 said:

It was brought to my attention as a former foster parent to a Caucasian child that they were used to a different type of discipline which was not as strict as how I disciplined in the home.
Tim_Karen's picture

Tim_Karen said:

As an adoptive parent of Hispanic children, I see the need to make them feel accepted into the family. We have never made a difference in our children. we have two bios and three adopted, to of the adopted are Hispanic. We have embraced their heritage and encouraged them to continue learning about their history and where they come from.