Credit hours:
3.00

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

apriljackson11's picture

apriljackson11 said:

My challenges is understanding mixed feelings toward the child and also dealing with all of there problems and needs I can handle type of child in foster care I no that I will often more to the children that is why I want to become and foster parent I will be prepared to handle any foster child that come in to my home because I no that and child needs and place to stay and my home will be welcome to any child that is in need of and place to stay because I will support the children's for whatever it is that they need in life it don't matter what kind of issues are behavioral that they have I will adopt and take care of them like they are my own child because when it come to kids I am willing and ready to take any one of them into my home they do not have to be separated from one another because I will take them all in my home any race can come into my home and my bicultural as and foster parent I will take in any race because any child that is in need of and place is welcome into my home because I love and enjoy all children.
bavickers's picture

bavickers said:

The publications were a little dated (encouraged watching The Cosby Show)--it would be good to have something more recent, especially given the events of the past year....but the basic information was good! The panel of youth was very valuable and something I think every foster parent should watch.
bavickers's picture

bavickers said:

The publications were a little dated (encouraged watching The Cosby Show)--it would be good to have something more recent, especially given the events of the past year....but the basic information was good! The panel of youth was very valuable and something I think every foster parent should watch.
smartinez19111@gmail.com's picture

smartinez19111@... said:

Good
MrRp's picture

MrRp said:

I would think the biggest fear is being able to provide cultural infomation/environment that the child would want.
j11kat's picture

j11kat said:

My first placement was an African American baby. He was with me from birth to 17 months and my biggest struggle was in learning how to care for his hair. We tried lots of different methods until we found one that worked. I learned that what works for some definitely doesn't work for all.
cdjones1976's picture

cdjones1976 said:

We are a unicorn/transracial family. We're a white, lesbian couple who have 2 biracial children and 3 Caucasian children. So we get looks everywhere we go. We try really hard to be intentional about learning about African American culture and education, and teaching all of our kids what we learn. Our kids have black baby dolls. We have lots of books by black authors and books where the characters are black. We take our biracial son to a black barber. Three of our kids are young right now, so we haven't had to have the more difficult conversations we know we will have to have with them as they grow older. But we know we will have to explain to both of our sons, one who is 3 and black and one who is 4 and white, that they will be treated differently in this world.
Mjcrosby's picture

Mjcrosby said:

Finding resources to help with hair and skin care. Handling the questions of others and trying to protect the kids from others comments and questions.
cfhanson's picture

cfhanson said:

The biggest challenge I have faced is providing my children with the best form of education within their culture. It has been difficult to find the resources that will best serve them. Especially because within Native American cultures it is specifically focused in on which tribe they are from.
EmmyGB's picture

EmmyGB said:

Our family has already had to face some tough conversations about complex issues on things we haven't personally experienced and won't ever experience because we are white. We realize that while we have taken some steps to integrate racial diversity into our lives, that we can do more. We want to add more literature in our home from authors of different races.