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Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) children

Fostering Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) children

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.

BME children in foster care

Most BME children in care in Bristol have one or both parents of African-Caribbean or African heritage.

One in four children we look after comes from a BME background, but only one in seven of our foster carers is BME. This means we can’t always match a child with a family from the same culture.

All fostered children from BME backgrounds need support to:

  • learn about their cultural heritage
  • deal with potential racism or discrimination

BME carers are often better placed to understand birth parents’ difficulties and to help foster children have a sense of pride and achievement.

We give all carers:

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

We’ll support white carers to make sure the children in their care have access to their own community, culture and religion.

What skills you need to foster BME children

To be a good foster carer of a BME child, you need to:

  • value and respect their cultural identity, heritage and past experiences
  • help them keep their links with their community
  • make sure you research and look for support on specific needs they might have, such as hair care and skin products
  • support their religious needs if appropriate, 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

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