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

Laurama's picture

Laurama said:

Being cognizant of racial differences and how these will impact the children in our care is how we will give them the tools to navigate a complicated world.
Joenangel14's picture

Joenangel14 said:

I think learning another cultural will be exciting.
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

The one thing I think that would bother me is people staring or rude comments.
joenangel's picture

joenangel said:

The one thing I think that would bother me is people staring or rude comments.
aisha_95336's picture

aisha_95336 said:

Diversity to me means being able to learn from people from all different walks of life. Whether it's a difference in culture, religion, education or background, I really feel like you can learn so much by being exposed to these different experiences and perspectives. Diversity should challenge people to not only be tolerant of others, but to try to learn from them. I think the Latino/Hispanic culture is a great example of why we should all strive to get to know people from different backgrounds. Within one culture, there are no uniform set of beliefs or customs. From Spain to Argentina to Cuba, there are infinite differences.
jenannbloom's picture

jenannbloom said:

It's been challenging, and rewarding, to lean into painful or awkward conversations about race. As a biracial foster family, we can no longer avoid them. We have grown, and have a lot more growing to do.'s picture

requiempress@gm... said:

We had a foster child who was embarrassed to be seen with us around her peers This was quite a challenge because we just wanted to give her the love and support she needed, but she didn't want to accept it from us.
lindseydandrews's picture

lindseydandrews said:

My biggest worry will be having mentors around them that are a part of their culture. I'm okay with learning another culture, but I want to make sure there are others that they can learn from who know their culture. Also, I am concerned with how to respectfully answer any questions that might be given to a foster youth of another race or to my biological children about their foster sibling. I know those questions will come, but I want to be ready for us all to give respectful and maybe informative answers.
hinsch1771's picture

hinsch1771 said:

My biggest fear as a foster parent is that the child or children will feel a disconnect from their race and/or culture. I worry that our family will not know what to do to make sure they stay connected to what they know and value.


My worry on a lighter note is not being about to properly cut their hair. I haven't had any problems so far. I haven't been to a barbershop in over 25 years. And I don't plan on spending any time there in the near future. Also, being able to provide meals that are similar to what they are used to eating or something that would bring the other members of the family outside the culinary comforts.