Race & Ethnic Background of Children in Foster Care
Currently, in the United States, children of color are over-represented in the foster care system, this is also referred to as disproportionality. For example, in Washington State, black children are twice as likely to enter the foster care system and Native American children are three times as likely. It is important to recognize that this disproportionality is due to institutional bias and not that families of color are neglecting their children at higher rates. This bias can lead to over 50% of foster children in specific states being of a minority racial group.
How do I best prepare myself to foster parent a child of a different racial background?
A large part of parenting a child of another racial or ethnic background comes down to a lot of self-work. Educating yourself of race and racism in this country and in your local community. Understanding your racial position and what privileges you may have that your child won't have. It is important to also look at how diverse your support network, schools and neighborhood are. Also, consider the diversity of your secondary support networks such as doctors and sport coaches. The ultimate goal is to be caring, understanding and respectful of your foster child's racial background and surround them with inclusive people and organizations.