05 October 2023

How to meet children’s needs in a trans-racial foster placement

How to meet children’s needs in a trans-racial foster placement

Overview: A look at the rising demand for foster carers in Manchester. Important considerations and tips for successful trans-racial foster placements. Plus, information about support for Manchester foster carers.

Is there a high demand for foster carers in Manchester?

Across the UK, demand for foster carers continues to rise. According to the Fostering Network, 920 children and young people were in foster care in Manchester in March 2022 and 10,080 across the North West. The charity estimated 850 more fostering households would need to be recruited over the next year .

Manchester is one of the most multicultural cities in the UK. It’s home to many religions and faiths and nearly 200 languages are spoken here. Along with an overall shortage of foster carers, there are fewer from specific ethnicities. This means it’s not always possible for children and young people to stay with foster carers from the same ethnic backgrounds. It would be ideal to have more fostering households from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in Manchester and surrounding areas. However, at Safehouses, we do have lots of experience of successfully supporting foster carers to meet the needs of children and young people from different backgrounds. This post will share tips and advice and signpost you to support further in the local area.

Meeting children’s needs in a trans-racial foster placement 

Respecting and understanding religious and cultural needs in trans-racial placements helps children and young people to retain their sense of heritage. Maintaining connections with their heritage is known to have a positive impact on their well-being and placement success.

If there’s something you don’t know or want to know more about, there’s always someone to ask and willing to help. Support workers and other foster carers can be excellent sources of information and advice. The fostering community around you will have their own experiences, practical skills and knowledge to share. Other foster carers might recommend suitable skin and hair care routines and shops for buying products. Or, they might share the challenges they’ve experienced within trans-racial foster placements and how they worked through them. Our friendly fostering team can also help to signpost to different places of worship or activities locally.

1. Help children maintain heritage connections

Retaining a sense of their heritage and identity helps children in several ways. It provides familiarity at a difficult time of change. Young people to feel more connected with their heritage as a result, and it promotes a feeling of belonging as they grow. It can also make a return to their birth family easier.

Learning about the background and culture of the children who stay with you is a vital starting point. You can offer further support by encouraging them to socialise in diverse groups. Opportunities to meet role models and children mirroring their cultural background can come through attending clubs, support groups or religious and cultural celebrations. You can also offer practical support to help them follow their faith in your home and at a place of worship.

2. Create an inclusive environment

You can make your home more inclusive and welcoming by creating a multicultural environment. Support and educate about multiculturalism with books and toys that address multicultural topics. You can also try and source play items from the child’s own cultural background. Preparing favourite foods, supporting different diets, and learning about cultural activities and routines are other practical ways to meet a child’s needs. Your supporting social worker, schools and other foster carers can be great sources of information. You may also find that older children can tell you about things like their favourite foods and games.

3. Provide support to deal with racism and discrimination

A trans-racial placement can make a child’s care status more visible to others. In turn this may lead to more frequent questions from their peers or others about their relationships. At Safehouses, all our staff are trained in the Attachment and Trauma-Informed Care Model™ (ATIC). This evidence-based and trauma-responsive approach addresses the impact of adversity experienced by young people who come into care. It is shown to help build trust and develop positive attachments and relationships. We offer additional therapeutic support for children where appropriate. Safehouses foster carers access a full programme of training and continuous development. We want you to feel as prepared as possible for the challenges of fostering. We offer specialist training to help you support children with the negative impact of racism and discrimination. Foster carers will also address any unconscious internal biases they have.

Manchester area support to help you meet the needs of your foster children 

At Safehouses, we believe the stronger the support system for the carer, the better the outcome for the child. When you foster with us, we build a team of support around you and the child you look after. You will have access to emergency out-of-hours support and specialist training throughout the year.

Our team is very knowledgeable about our region. We can help to signpost you to relevant cultural support for children from local groups like kids of colour. Or support for foster carers such as the Muslim Foster Network (PDF).

Socialising with other fostering families creates a valuable support network. We run a range of specialist local support groups and a calendar of fostering events in Manchester. And as part of the Five Rivers Child Care family, there’s also the opportunity to participate in national events and celebrations.

How much do foster parents get paid near Manchester?

We offer a generous fostering allowance so you can focus on meeting the needs of the children in your care. Manchester, fostering allowances with Safehouses are upwards of £412.32-£476.35 per week, usually tax-free. The amount you receive will increase if more than one child stays in your home.

Could you provide a safe, loving home to a child?

From your first contact to supporting children in your home, we’ll be here to help with every step of your fostering journey. To take your first step towards a rewarding new career, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!