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

SalleyZgolinski's picture

SalleyZgolinski said:

I just don't want my African American foster son to feel like the odd man out.
Kphillips's picture

Kphillips said:

Challenges I have faced are the stares I get when out in public with my foster kids of another race. People have even asked me who the child is to me, which I feel is embarrassing for the child to hear. If it is someone who I know and am willing to share with, I might let them know that she or he is staying with me for a while. I typically only answer or respond when the child is out of earshot.
Sandra1959's picture

Sandra1959 said:

I haven’t dealt with much difficulty in this area but I do definitely understand how this could effect both foster parent and child .
Monica Little's picture

Monica Little said:

I struggle with trying to connect with older teenagers from different cultures. I try hard to incorporate different activities but it hasn't really worked well yet.
Mary Jaminet's picture

Mary Jaminet said:

One thing that I encountered was the "you don't understand" phrase. These kids were friends of my daughters, and they were very much trying to take over the home. They didn't try to become part of the family and I think that has become my biggest fear.
jusMEjackie10's picture

jusMEjackie10 said:

We already have so many challenges out there with the children we are connected to in our personal lives before the foster child/children are placed with us. I personally have no fears with it but I do think heavily on the challenges that will or can arrive once placement takes place. For example; will the child be able to relate to others in school on a positive note, will the child feel that I am presenting myself in a way that if a problem arrives that they can come to me, and if and when the child needs anything on a cultural basis, will that child share with me their needs and not feel hindered due to my cultural or religious beliefs.
StephAnne's picture

StephAnne said:

I think this is an important topic. I wish there were similar trainings about disabled children and how to support their experiences too.
dyesheena's picture

dyesheena said:

Most of this is not applicable to our situation as our children are the majority and we are the minorities.
riverreines's picture

riverreines said:

The fear that you aren’t doing enough to surround them with as much as their culture and with adults and children of their race
tmmhndrsn's picture

tmmhndrsn said:

I have had different race of children in my home, im always asking about what holidays they celebrated or what different foods they like. The boys i have now love hot sauce on everything, so i make sure we have it. I try to do things in our home that will help them to keep cultural identities