Credit hours:

Course Summary

A young person's care and development, in foster care, should be the top concern of all supportive adults involved. Foster parents may need to take unique steps to ensure the young person's maximum well-being if the child's cultural background is different than their own. This means a thorough respect and understanding of the young person's religion, cultural values, customs, and beliefs. As outlined in the following course, cultural sensitivity 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:

  • Things to take into consideration before committing to becoming a parent to a young person of a different race
  • How to help foster youth gain a strong sense of racial identity
  • How important cultural connections are for foster youth How to help minimize the impact of being placed in a home with a very different culture
  • How to help make your home a bicultural home How to celebrate 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 has on a young person in foster care 

Step 3

Review this booklet created by C. Kimo Alameda, Ph. D,  "In the Rainbow: Cultural Best Practices in Foster Care" to learn how Hawai'i, the country's most diverse state, is being 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 with a very different culture.

Step 4

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

What challenges have you faced, or what challenges are you fearful of facing, as a bicultural foster parent?

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Course Discussion

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.
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.'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!'s picture 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