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Cultural competency skills are one of the many skill sets that foster parents need. It’s a matter of promoting respectful and effective interactions among people from a variety of different backgrounds. This is a big job, but private fostering agencies and other resources are available to help you prepare to succeed. Here are some strategies that will help you along the way.

Increase your Cultural Competency Knowledge and Awareness:

The first step in increasing your cultural competency is usually focused on building up your knowledge and awareness. Your private fostering agency can answer your individual questions, and may be able to provide relevant courses and other materials. You may also want to contact your local universities, libraries, and other organizations to see what they have available, including practical exercises that you can do on your own or as part of a group. As you’re learning, examine your attitude and thinking too. It can be difficult and uncomfortable to recognize our own personal assumptions and biases, but it’s the only way we can really figure out how to apply our learning in real life.

Develop Your Cultural Competency Skills:

You may need to work on certain communication skills. That includes listening without making judgements and facilitating two way conversation. You will get better the more you practice, so be gentle with yourself if you sometimes make mistakes. The important thing is to keep at it. Increasing your cultural competency will help you to develop a healthy relationship with your foster child. It may also be valuable for your career and in other areas of your life as we all live in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

Contact us at TFI Oklahoma to learn more about private fostering agencies and other resources for foster parents. We provide experience, compassion, quality services and care for children and families.