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

Carolyngall's picture

Carolyngall said:

We are fostering and adopting our grandson who is biracial. Wow!!! This course just made everything seem scary and hard. We are oh so very white in a predominately white area. We knew that we didnt want him to be the only brown child in school amd that we will eventually confront racism. But the rest of this course just made me feel inadequate. We already have a lot of challenges. I think these requirements just sunk my battleship. Its a good thing he is only 2 and I can put most of this in the worry about later pile.
km16471's picture

km16471 said:

My family is biracial and we are raising two of our grandchildren. Having experienced multicultural living with my own children has helped tremendously with my grandchildren. But I never stop learning so I can adapt with the current times and better help my grandchildren thrive.
tmmhndrsn's picture

tmmhndrsn said:

We are a multiracial family, i enjoy when we get new children we talk about their culture and how or if they celebrate holidays. I try to do as many traditions they have so they can feel like part of the family but also ue it as a learning experience for the other children in the home
Tinymutt's picture

Tinymutt said:

I try to incorporate cultural diversity in my home and learn more about different cultures and I meet the children where their at.'s picture

mikenjulieclark... said:

we are a multiracial family to begin with so i guess being different is normal in our house. in fact we encourage it.
heatherwood's picture

heatherwood said:

A challenge I have faced while fostering African American children as a Caucasian women surrounded my 9 year old girl. She said "her hair was not beautiful because it was not straight like mine and my bio daughters". This was saddening because I want her to see the beauty in her identity and culture. I had an African American friend put her hair in a braided style with beads which she really enjoyed that hairstyle.
Nadine60's picture

Nadine60 said:

As a foster parent I have not yet had any children outside of my own race yet. I know it is bound to happen and though I do not worry about how I would receive they child(ren), I do worry about the child(ren) feeling like they can relate to me. But the universe language is love so I believe we can break barriers that way!
rachelmjones's picture

rachelmjones said:

My biggest fear as a foster parent would for the child to feel left out or not welcome or loved in our home's picture said:

My biggest fear is that the children will feel isolated from their culture in our home or alone. That would be tragic and I hope to prevent it as much as possible.
Ginarc's picture

Ginarc said:

Some challenges that may be faced could be having a foster child and they are unfamiliar with the same language that you and your family may speak. However, it is important to educate one's self so that there are minimum communication barriers. If those communication barriers may occur, if could be difficult for the foster parent or child to communicate if there is danger near or even something as simple as understanding of a daily routine.