Children of all different backgrounds can be brought into the care system. Data up to and including 31st March 2019 showed that in the UK, 74% of looked after and adopted children are white, 10% are mixed, 8% are black and 4% are Asian. With children from a variety of cultural backgrounds needing homes, it is vital that our foster carers are just as diverse.
In many cases, it is more beneficial for a child’s stability and mental health to be placed with foster carers who share their cultural background - however, due to availability of foster carers, this cannot always be the case. Learn more about how we place our foster children at FosterCare UK and how to support your foster child if you come from different cultural backgrounds.
Community Care Inform and British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) conducted a study in 2011 and produced guidance requiring “foster carers and fostering services to ensure full attention is paid to a looked-after child’s gender, faith, ethnic origin, cultural and linguistic background, sexual orientation and any disability they might have. Children should be encouraged and supported to have positive views of themselves and to be proud of their identity and heritage.”
This means that foster agencies, such as FosterCare UK, have a duty to help young people in foster care remain connected with their heritage. It is in the child’s best interest to pair them with ethnically and culturally similar foster parents. For example, it could be more beneficial placing a Muslim child with a Muslim foster family as they will be able to grow and develop their religion in a supportive and understanding environment. Equally, being brought up with people who practise your religion, or share your cultural background, gives a child access to role models who can guide them through any questions they may have.
Our careful matching process is dedicated to placing foster children with carers who will allow them to grow into their personal identity and encourage them to develop their understanding of their culture. We aim to match foster children with families that they can easily integrate into and our main goal is to ensure a foster child feels accepted.
At FosterCare UK, we try our hardest to place each child in a home that best suits their background, however, this is not always possible due to availability. Therefore, we expect all of our carers from specific communities to be available to support children of all backgrounds. If you are to become a foster carer with FosterCare UK, it is important that you share our values – to help children build a brighter future, regardless of their race, religion or cultural beliefs.
If you find that you are paired with a foster child who has a different cultural background to your own, you will be given extra support from us. We will help you understand the child’s cultural background and how you can encourage them to develop their beliefs.
The most important thing you can do as a transracial foster family is to be respectful. You should not only allow your child to practise their beliefs, but do your own research and help them develop. Fostering is all about the child who is in need of a home – as a foster parent, it is your duty to make sure you create the best environment for them to develop and grow into their identity.
At FosterCare UK, we offer our foster carers extensive training and support to make sure you feel comfortable and at ease. For more information on diversity foster care or cultural fostering, contact our helpful team.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.