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

christirooroo's picture

christirooroo said:

I have had my African American foster daughter for 19 months. I have never had any issues with people of different races which is why I signed up for all races. It is amazing to me how many stares and whispers I get from both Caucasians and African Americans. I am not sure why people cannot just see how happy she is and ignore our skin color. There are some people that are bold enough to ask questions. I am completely honest with them. Once they find out I am a foster parent, their entire attitude changes. I also point out that although we are different races I am more than willing to adopt her if it comes to that. My biggest challenge day 1 was her hair. I enlisted the help of one of my dearest friends and I will say I am now a pro at it.
Kiaro's picture

Kiaro said:

I think knowing how to aptly and positively answer questions or respond to comments about how a child looks different from his/her family is key for the well being of the child and the family. Open discussions on diversity and culture, appearing different, and being able to cope with reactions from others, are crucial in combating any struggles to forming a positive, well rounded, self identity.
dbarto44's picture

dbarto44 said:

Despite the occasional extended glances and gazes I do not get caught up in it. Instead, I worry more about their lives in the future when they are older and shopping by themselves when I am not there in the cultural context we currently find ourselves and how the people in our city and county will treat my kids.
Ankromfamily1's picture

Ankromfamily1 said:

This is actually something I am concerned about. We have only fostered a few, quite young children of our same race (unknown backgrounds) but we live in a fairly 'undiverse' area. We are open to fostering children of a different background but a lot of the suggestions for bicultural life aren't easily done in our area.
gianna15's picture

gianna15 said:

She is very young at this time, but we have noticed that when she picks certain (daddy finger) videos she looks for individuals that look like us. We make it a point of having friends from all racial circles. She is told at every opportunity how beautiful she is and how we love her very much. As she gets older we will make sure that she keeps her cultural identity, as we are trying to teach her another language as well.
cfirman's picture

cfirman said:

We fostered children of a different race and none of our children or there friends have ever made a comment or questioned their race. Makes us happy!
cfirman's picture

cfirman said:

We fostered children of a different race and none of our children or there friends have ever made a comment or questioned their race. Makes us happy!
amberbobst's picture

amberbobst said:

As a new caregiver I want to make sure I don't overstep, giving them the space that they need without being obtrusive with activities and fun events.
Tamprat's picture

Tamprat said:

I'm currently fostering a bi-racial child and so far her cultural concerns hasn't been very challenging
jesikad01's picture

jesikad01 said:

we had a lot of family members react negtively to having an AA chid in our home which surprised and upset us. but we were able to educate them and show them it was not a scary thing