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

justinandjenn100's picture

justinandjenn100 said:

We have never fostered in this area before but thought it would be great to learn incase the need arises. Good ideas. Thanks
jerry83joyner's picture

jerry83joyner said:

The biggest challenge will be understanding how not to demoralize the child by acting as if their culture is "different" and mine is "normal". That is a very difficult line to walk, especially when you are trying to educate yourself and you are coming from a well meaning, but ignorant, place.
Sammiek's picture

Sammiek said:

something we are facing now is the part where they don't feel as beautiful. thinking hair is not good enough or skin color makes them "less" we remind daily they are beautiful and i take the time to explain what specific things make him/ her beautiful.
SalleyZgolinski's picture

SalleyZgolinski said:

One challenge we had was the both my children are adopted but one is white and one is black. People assume that my daughter who is white is our birth child and our son who is black is adopted despite the fact that they come from similar backgrounds. I worry that my son will feel like the odd man out as he gets older.
MiamiMom's picture

MiamiMom said:

The biggest challenge I have is dealing with adults who feel comfortable asking "are they yours" when they see us out. I can tell that it makes my young children uncomfortable. Another thing that upsets me (even though the intention is good) is when someone mentions how great my childrens' hair looks and what an 'amazing job' I do at managing it. Sometimes strangers will ask how long it took me to 'learn to deal with their hair' and the comments comes from all races. It makes my kids question why instead of simply accepting that 'mommy does my hair' like any other mom.
Zksouth14's picture

Zksouth14 said:

One of the challenges we have faced is learning what products to use for an African American child’s skin and hair. Luckily we have a biracial family and have been leaning on them for guidance on what products to buy and how to use them.
rlcmurphy's picture

rlcmurphy said:

We will try to be in contact with both sides of the family for help letting our child be a well rounded biracial beauty.
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.