No matter your own ethnicity, religion, culture or background, as a foster carer, it’s important to demonstrate a good sense of cultural sensitivity and competence. Foster carers should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to understand and respect the cultural backgrounds of the children they care for. In this guide, we’ll explain the need for foster carers across all cultures as well as how we consider a child’s culture when matching them with a foster carer.
Figures based on research by the UK Government state that as of 31 March 2022, 81% of foster carers are White, which is slightly lower than the proportion of White individuals in the general population. The most recent data states that children of ethnic minority backgrounds make up 28% of children in care at independent foster care agencies. Cultural diversity is important in foster care, as it’s beneficial for children in care to experience representation that reflects the diversity of children in care.
Matching a foster child with foster carers who can provide them with a culturally responsive and supportive environment. As part of the fostering assessment process, we’ll ask you questions about your cultural, ethnic and religious background with the aim of matching the foster child with foster carers of a similar background. This helps to make the adjustment of transitioning to foster care a less disruptive experience for them. Here at Excel Fostering, a child-centric approach is always at the heart of what we do, and while we will always try to match a child to a family with a similar background, sometimes this is not always possible.
If you’re caring for a child from a different culture, race, religion or ethnicity to you, it’s important to practice cultural sensitivity by recognising and valuing their unique cultural identity. You should acknowledge that your foster child comes from a different background to you, but respect and celebrate these differences. Encourage your foster child to embrace their cultural identity, but ultimately let them lead the way with how much they want to be immersed in their culture, and keep an open line of communication so that they feel comfortable communicating their feelings with you.
Some of the ways that you can encourage your foster child to embrace their cultural identity include.
Fostering a child who has grown up practising a different religion to you, requires the same sensitivity and respect as fostering a child from a different cultural or ethnic background to you. It’s important to bear in mind that some children and young people may not want to practice their religion at all in foster care, but you should still provide the opportunity if they change their minds. Equally, you should support your foster child if they want to practice their religion, showing interest and support.
Some of the ways that you can support your foster child when practising their religion include:
When applying to become a foster carer, you may ask can I choose who I foster? While you can’t choose who you foster, our fostering team will always try and ensure that every placement is well-matched. If you’re ready to find out more and want to learn more about the fostering process, get in touch with a member of our helpful team here at Excel Fostering today.
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.