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

ShaaleenAP's picture

ShaaleenAP said:

Normal fears. Not connecting or unintionably alienating them.'s picture

Ryangallipani@y... said:

I am most fearful of the challenge of having my foster child, who is biracial, ever be made to feel bullied in school or in life over the color of her skin. As a parent, you always want to protect and build your child's self-confidence to take over the world. I never want anyone to dim or attempt to lessen that confidence to where she ever feels less than most worthy of everything this world has to offer. I sometimes also worry about the hair aspect in being a father and learning how to do a little girl's hair and what products to use, but I have relatives that have biracial children and plan to look to them for support.
Jeanne's picture

Jeanne said:

I think my biggest challenge was hair and skin care for my African American Children,but the last Foster Daughter I had taught me more about it .
DHedge's picture

DHedge said:

The normal concerns of any parent of am I doing this right
Packh34's picture

Packh34 said:

I was in this position during the George Floyd incident. Before that I honestly never thought that much about his color because we loved him so much. After this I was/am terrified for him as he grows up. As the mother to a grown son that loved to do donuts and got several tickets in his youth I never once thought anything about him getting them other than it made me mad at him. I never feared he would get hurt by a cop (or anyone) that may have hidden racism. This is something that terrifies me for my foster/ now Godson.'s picture

Minniemousemama... said:

I am fearful of not doing enough for my soon to be adopted black and Dominican child. I will do as much research as I can and work to get him involved in all the things that he wants to do. I just fear that while we live in a diverse community, there is not a very large black presence here and I don't want him to feel disconnected or like he doesn't fit in with African Americans and black youth. I am grateful however that he will always have a connection with his biological grandparents and family.
hanchettbj's picture

hanchettbj said:

We haven't had to deal with this yet
Hanchettdan's picture

Hanchettdan said:

We haven’t had to deal with this yet.
PatrickLMc's picture

PatrickLMc said:

Being a foster family we need to remember we need look at job market that takes that into account.
porta's picture

porta said:

Our placement has been with us for a few years and is African-American and Dominican and we have had to work really hard to adapt ways care for him. We are fairly lucky to live and work in a relatively diverse community who we could reach out to when it came to caring for our kiddos skin and hair, as well as having supports that look like they do. Where my concern is is that as they grow they might explore communities that are less accepting of racial differences and what fallout they will have. My hope is that we can start the conversation on this when they are young in a safe as described in this course so that they are ready to confront and survive what the world has in store them.