What it's like to foster a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) child and what skills and qualities you'll need to be a good foster carer for them.

Most children in care in Bristol who are from a Black or minority ethnic group background have one or both parents of African-Caribbean or African heritage.

Approximately one in three children we look after comes from a Black or minority ethnic background, as opposed to only one in five of our foster carers. This means that although we always try, we can't always match a child with a family from the same culture.

All fostered children from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds need support to:

  • learn about their cultural heritage
  • practise their chosen religion
  • maintain links with their community
  • understand and deal with potential racism or discrimination

As well as preparation and support from your supervising social worker and the child's social worker, we give all carers:

  • a comprehensive guide to caring for a child of a different ethnicity
  • buddies from the Black and minority ethnic fostering community, who can help with questions on things like hair, skin care and food, or religious and cultural practices
  • access to a specialist support group

What skills you need to foster a child from a different cultural background

To be a good foster carer of a child from a different culture, you all the same skills as other foster carers, and to:

  • value and respect the child's cultural identity, heritage and past experiences
  • help the child maintain links with their community
  • be willing to learn, research and look for support on specific needs they might have, such as hair care and skin products
  • support their religious needs, for example by taking them to a place of worship, and giving them time and space for prayer
  • create a familiar routine around food and other cultural practices

Next: fostering unaccompanied asylum seeking children


Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch for an informal chat, contact our fostering team.


0117 353 4200



Contact us

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Phone: 0117 3534200

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