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

swashington12's picture

swashington12 said:

working with children for most of my life as a nanny for 17 years of many diverse cultures, as you work with them and learn more about them it becomes easier, now days you can learn a lot on you tube called mixed children foster care, all kinds of videos on this information, but i never had any problems.
lkeolamphu's picture

lkeolamphu said:

having been born multi-racial I understand how important is for people outside and inside the family to be open to different cultures. We are all different but it doesn't make us unrelatable
merollba's picture

merollba said:

It would benefit our kids to have more people of color in our lives, in their schools and in their community. I can't control all of that however, so I need to make more of an effort to seek out opportunities to surround them with people who look like them.
mcmerolla's picture

mcmerolla said:

We have had two children placed with us for three plus years that are a different ethnicity than us. Since they are young, we have not run into any obvious racial discrimination but I am anticipating as they grow up there will be situations that arise. I am nervous that I am too naive and won't know how to best prepare and equip them for those moments.
hensonsc's picture

hensonsc said:

We have had different Races in our 9 years, the biggest challenge is to know what and how to ask so child does not feel offended. From hair care to what is eaten in the home we have found several differences in how children of different cultures are raised and what life experiences they have had already. But luckily we have had some great resources in our case workers to help with our questions and helping us to learn.
DeeGee's picture

DeeGee said:

My husband and I are new foster parents. I am most worried that my older relatives will not be as open to accepting a child of a different race as the younger generation. I want any child that is placed in our home to feel part of our family and I am trying to educate my older generation relatives.
csnewsom2020's picture

csnewsom2020 said:

We have biracial kids in our home, that came to us at a very young age. We are learning from the parents some of the Native American culture so that the kids can stay in tune with their culture
NathanMarq's picture

NathanMarq said:

As a foster parent to a child of a different race, I am most fearful of introducing cultural or ethnic experiences in line with their race, while not being a member of that race myself. Since I am not an authority on what those things might be, I think I will just have to make an effort to introduce him to communities which could inform and guide both of us.
Bikala14's picture

Bikala14 said:

We have a black foster child and have worked hard to educate ourselves to be aware of his perspective and work to making him feel accepted. We have placed a strong focus on not only having peers with similar culture but also to have adult mentors who share his cultural roots and can share an empathy that we may not be able to share with him however much we would like to.
bbedient's picture

bbedient said:

It has been an incredibly humbling and educational experience for me to learn by trial and error how to instill a sense of pride and acceptance in my son about who he is, and where he comes from. It has not been a quick journey. It has been a change of life and habit for me, and I continue to see room for change in the way I form his home experience.