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's picture

[email protected] said:

My biggest fear is that the children will feel isolated from their culture in our home or alone. That would be tragic and I hope to prevent it as much as possible.
Ginarc's picture

Ginarc said:

Some challenges that may be faced could be having a foster child and they are unfamiliar with the same language that you and your family may speak. However, it is important to educate one's self so that there are minimum communication barriers. If those communication barriers may occur, if could be difficult for the foster parent or child to communicate if there is danger near or even something as simple as understanding of a daily routine.
Laurama's picture

Laurama said:

Being cognizant of racial differences and how these will impact the children in our care is how we will give them the tools to navigate a complicated world.
Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

I think learning another cultural will be exciting.
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

The one thing I think that would bother me is people staring or rude comments.
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

The one thing I think that would bother me is people staring or rude comments.
aisha_95336's picture

aisha_95336 said:

Diversity to me means being able to learn from people from all different walks of life. Whether it's a difference in culture, religion, education or background, I really feel like you can learn so much by being exposed to these different experiences and perspectives. Diversity should challenge people to not only be tolerant of others, but to try to learn from them. I think the Latino/Hispanic culture is a great example of why we should all strive to get to know people from different backgrounds. Within one culture, there are no uniform set of beliefs or customs. From Spain to Argentina to Cuba, there are infinite differences.
jenannbloom's picture

jenannbloom said:

It's been challenging, and rewarding, to lean into painful or awkward conversations about race. As a biracial foster family, we can no longer avoid them. We have grown, and have a lot more growing to do.'s picture

requiempress@gm... said:

We had a foster child who was embarrassed to be seen with us around her peers This was quite a challenge because we just wanted to give her the love and support she needed, but she didn't want to accept it from us.
lindseydandrews's picture

lindseydandrews said:

My biggest worry will be having mentors around them that are a part of their culture. I'm okay with learning another culture, but I want to make sure there are others that they can learn from who know their culture. Also, I am concerned with how to respectfully answer any questions that might be given to a foster youth of another race or to my biological children about their foster sibling. I know those questions will come, but I want to be ready for us all to give respectful and maybe informative answers.