How Can You Prepare to Foster Parent A Child of A Different Race

What Is The Racial & Ethnic Makeup of Kids In Foster Care?


In this video Trey Rabun of Amara discusses the racial & ethnic makeup of children in the foster care system in the United States.

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.

Posted by Trey Rabun

Trey graduated with his Master's in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2011 and soon after begun his career at Amara. He also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master's Degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois. Trey spent 4 ½ years as a case manager at Amara assessing, licensing, and supporting foster parents and their foster children. In April 2016, he took on a new role leading Amara's efforts in outreach and recruitment of foster parents. Personally, Trey and his partner have been foster parents for about 1 ½ years and currently have a two-year-old foster child. In his free time, Trey enjoys cooking, traveling, and playing with his Pug.

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