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Transracial Adoption and Foster Care: Practice issues for Professionals:
My goal with this book is to provide professionals, agencies, and organizations with information that I have found to be useful in serving foster and adopted children in transracial families, the children's adoptive and foster parents, and families with children who were adopted internationally.
I have divided the book into three parts: the first part describes specific ways that practitioners can work with transracial adoptive and foster families to ensure that children develop positive racial and cultural identities. The second part discusses how practitioners might better serve transracial families. The last part addresses professionals concerns, such as cultural competence and recruitment.
- Part I: Introducing Families to Racial and Cultural Issues
The chapters in Part I are designed to help professionals introduce some complex issues to adoptive and foster parents.
Chapter 1, "Understanding Racial and Cultural Identity," discusses the concept of identity formation and how power shapes a child's positive identity. The chapter also defines the terms "dominant" and "minority" and emphasizes the importance of recognizing that social interactions within the extended family and the community are essential for the child to develop a positive racial and/or cultural identity.
Chapter 2, "Recognizing the Impact of Transracial Placement," assists the professional in identifying the impact of transracial adoption and foster care on the child by providing illustrations of how children, family members, and communities may respond to transracial placement and what strong emotions lie behind those responses.
- Part II: Providing Services to Transracial Families
Chapter 3, "Assessment and Training," reviews several assessment tools and guides that are administered by agency professionals or self-administered by prospective parents, as well as several training programs and curricula for prospective foster and adoptive parents.
Chapter 4, "Preparing Children and Families for Placement," discusses how professionals can effectively prepare children and families for transracial placements and also identifies activities that may help with this transition.
Chapter 5, "Identifying Parenting Tasks and Skills," provides an overview of parenting tasks and a discussion of specific skills and capabilities that parents in transracial families should have. This chapter also provides an explanation of prejudice, discrimination, and racism that parents might use with their children.
Chapter 6, "Case Management," offers an overview of activities related to the child's education, medical/health concerns, community networking, and financial and legal tasks. This chapter then describes a continuum of postfoster placement and adoption services and tasks.
- Part III: Professionals Concerns
Chapter 7, "Staff Attitudes and Values," discusses how staff can be better prepared to serve and support transracial foster and adoptive families. The discussion focuses on values, standards, and guidelines that agencies can adopt to facilitate their work.
Chapter 8, "Recruitment," discusses the federal requirement that states develop plans to recruit racially diversified families and identifies barriers to recruitment and strategies to minimizing them. The chapter concludes with a review of techniques that might retain families through the training, selection, and approval phases of the recruitment process.
Chapter 9 provides an overview of future trends in transracial adoptions and foster placements. This chapter also identifies challenges that professionals and agencies face in providing services and meeting the expectations of federal legislation (i.e., IEPA). The chapter concludes with recommendations for research to improve legislation, case management, and practices that have an impact on transracial and transcultural adoptions and foster care.