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

hinsch1771's picture

hinsch1771 said:

My biggest fear as a foster parent is that the child or children will feel a disconnect from their race and/or culture. I worry that our family will not know what to do to make sure they stay connected to what they know and value.


My worry on a lighter note is not being about to properly cut their hair. I haven't had any problems so far. I haven't been to a barbershop in over 25 years. And I don't plan on spending any time there in the near future. Also, being able to provide meals that are similar to what they are used to eating or something that would bring the other members of the family outside the culinary comforts.
LaQuella L McNary's picture

LaQuella L McNary said:

Be encouraging and dont be afraid to ask questions if you're not familiar with a culture. We have so many resources available to help guide us in the right direction to assist the children being placed in our homes.
Deetripp's picture

Deetripp said:

I worry my daughter will be disappointed later in life that she was raised by white parents when she knows her full sibling was raised by a biracial parent.
frenchy78's picture

frenchy78 said:

I worry that as my son gets older we will have a harder time connecting since we are different races. It isn't an issue right now but he's only 3. I know it is something we will need to work through together.
katiejfrench's picture

katiejfrench said:

We live in a very rural area where there isn't a lot of diversity so I worry about being able to help my son connect with his African American culture. I know we will have to seek out opportunities and mentors for him as he gets older and becomes more aware.
RobertM's picture

RobertM said:

My son is black and I am white. He is very young now and so we connect easily. I hope the lessons I have learned here will help me to continue to connect with him as he gets older and becomes more aware of different cultures and identities.
AndraM's picture

AndraM said:

We have a multi-cultural family. Our daughter is Mexican, which is also part of my background, so I feel it will be easier to keep her connected. Our son is Black, so we make an effort to keep him connected to his culture. I make it a priority to do research and ask those around me, who share his culture, what they do in certain situations, so I know what way we should go for him (mainly hair care, skin care, etc). I definitely try to make sure I'm doing what is best for him. I definitely come at it with an attitude of learning!
Truth and Love's picture

Truth and Love said:

I feel like teaching for 12 years has helped me too understand different levels of kids emotions from high school to elementary school. Different cultures deserve respect and acknowledgment. Everyone needs loved and nurtured at all age levels and for all culture diversity.
Joanne7914's picture

Joanne7914 said:

I’m fostering a Caucasian newborn and when I introduced him to many of my friends and family, one of my friends said you know when he gets older people are going to think you’re his nanny and laughed. I chuckled too but shrugged it off. This friend is sort of that kind that will make judgement remarks which I was not surprised to hear coming from her. It never dawned on me think that I might be thought of as that and all I have to say to her(and I did) was if they think or say that then they be it. I cannot control what other people say or even think, I can only control how I will react and it’s really superfluous to even react. We will love the child unconditionally....amen!