Supporting all carers and children who have different religions, faiths and cultures.
Becoming a foster carer is transforming a child’s life and it is the carers genuine passion and commitment that helps make a positive and lasting difference to the lives of all children in the care. That’s why Sunbeam recruits foster carers from all ethnicity and religions so we can therefore try and match children who have the same culture and background. This then gives the child stability and security and gives the carers the ability to support their unique needs.
As religion plays an inevitable role in human life, it is important to understand different cultures, traditions and backgrounds. Religion is something we will always come across whether it is through work, family, friends or someone you walk past on the street. So it is important to respect someone’s choice of religion and not isolate them or make them feel like they are any different. Remember someone’s faith is an individual choice.
Fostering a child of a different ethnicity may have it challenges but you need to be open to learning about their religion and cultures. These children would have come from a home where they practice a particular religion and participate in certain traditions throughout the year. Therefore, it is important to help the child feel comfortable and secure and continue with helping them learn about their religion.
Foster children miss their birth families and their traditions, however, at the same time, they want to be a part of the activities of their foster family. When religion differs and traditions are not the same, things can be more complicated. As religion can be a sensitive issue for children, foster carers need to be aware of ways they can support the child. When there is a religious difference between the child’s birth family and the foster family, things can become even more complicated.
Many questions may arise from carers who are fostering children from a different religion. What about my own religion? Can I still practice my religion? What about family traditions?
As much as matching process enables children to be matched with carers of the same religion and ethnicity, it may not always be the case and therefore carers need to be open minded and must have an acceptance to different religions. If certain aspects of a child’s religion makes you feel uncomfortable then it is key to discuss this with your social worker and they will then be able to make an informed placement decision.