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

Ryguythesciguy's picture

Ryguythesciguy said:

It would be important to me to make sure all of my family (extended included) was ready to welcome children with different racial backgrounds into the family as well to limit potential difficulties.
KimmersA8's picture

KimmersA8 said:

An area of growth/need I can see is to be more intentional about broadening our cultural circle. One of the above articles has some easy tips on ways to do so.
LindsayMeyer's picture

LindsayMeyer said:

I am most fearful of facing challenges of having a multi-cultural placement in a non-diverse neighborhood. I am prepared to offer mutli-cultural opportunities for my foster child and will work to educate myself and provide them many opportunities, but I know that the neighborhood and school district is not a diverse environment for them.
briancampbell7066's picture

briancampbell7066 said:

We recently adopted an African-American boy, but we live in a mostly Caucasian community. We really want him to be secure in his identity but we also know not everyone around us will be understanding of his needs.
meekaa's picture

meekaa said:

my wife and I are new to foster care/Parenting; we have recently received our license and it is( as you know for 6 months period) we have not had a placement but are looking to the adventures ahead
shburrough's picture

shburrough said:

Dealing with racism and issues with peers.
Micaht333's picture

Micaht333 said:

It was brought to my attention as a former foster parent to a Caucasian child that they were used to a different type of discipline which was not as strict as how I disciplined in the home.
Tim_Karen's picture

Tim_Karen said:

As an adoptive parent of Hispanic children, I see the need to make them feel accepted into the family. We have never made a difference in our children. we have two bios and three adopted, to of the adopted are Hispanic. We have embraced their heritage and encouraged them to continue learning about their history and where they come from.
tdregely's picture

tdregely said:

I do not have any fears of fostering/adopting outside of my own race. I feel that it is extremely important to embrace different cultures, and would hope to surround myself and my family in an environment that does the same.
Stevengall's picture

Stevengall said:

I am raising my grandson whom is biracial. I am afraid of him and us having to deal with racism directed toward him in school or activities.