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

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
G.Brown's picture

G.Brown said:

This is not a problem I have had
Trinadave74's picture

Trinadave74 said:

I worry that I won’t be able to prepare and protect her