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

Bdean's picture

Bdean said:

As a foster parent to a child of another race, I notice in public we get alot of "looks" or people will ask "where I got him from.
KMorse19's picture

KMorse19 said:

As a foster parent I have faced bias and racism from my in-laws regarding foster children who have come to our home. Honestly, I'm going to be printing out some of literature in this training and give it to them!
SalleyZgolinski's picture

SalleyZgolinski said:

As a foster parent to bi-racial or children of a completely different race I want to make sure that I am being respectful of their needs. I worry that they will feel out of place in our home and I so much want to give them a feeling of inclusion.
Clarolga's picture

Clarolga said:

I find it very hard to connect our Native American son (we are his white adoptive parents) with other Native families and children in our area as we live very rural. We have bought many books, are attempting to learn some of the Sioux language, and have a good relationship with his biological family. But I can tell he feels disconnected and alone sometimes, especially at school, church and other after school events. We continue to seek out opportunities to learn about his heritage as much as possible and we are developing new traditions as a family. I find it difficult to help him navigate peer racist comments he hears at school sometimes.
Burtonfam2's picture

Burtonfam2 said:

We have had the opportunity to be intentional about learn more about other cultures to from the bio families. It has been a very connecting experience.
Burtonfam's picture

Burtonfam said:

One challenge we face is how others notice (and occasionally comment) on the fact that our family doesn't "match." We are fortunate to have a variety of close friends from different cultural backgrounds. This allows an opportunity for our foster children to make a connection as well as resources for our family on questions about culture.
chris.simpson08's picture

chris.simpson08 said:

I have faced many challenges as a foster parent that has children of a different race, as I'm a black male foster parent and the three foster kids that I have are white. I've gotten stares anywhere we go and it makes me more vigilant than ever to make sure that I'm paying attention to how I speak to them and how I interact with them as people are always watching us closely.
ktrickel's picture

ktrickel said:

The comments others make and the discrimination they will face both with me and on their own. My husband and I do respite care for foster youth of other races, and the things people say/how they react/the looks they give can be a lot to handle.
shulsey88's picture

shulsey88 said:

AA haircare has been my biggest challenge! So hard, so time consuming and so expensive. And skin care a little at first but that was easy, I just wasn't used to a child having dry skin. AA culture wasn't too hard because my aunt and my best friend are AA. The Hispanic kids I have had came with a language barrier with the bio parents. The kids had to translate and I wasn't always sure how honest or accurate they were.
ssrieske's picture

ssrieske said:

it made me much more aware of inequalities and lack of representation