Written by Ibrar Ahmad Razaq – Digital Marketer and Researcher at My Foster Family
Racial equity is defined as ‘all people, cultures and identities are equally valued and recognised under the belief that strength comes through the diversity and expression of our shared humanity’.
In order to understand how to become an ally of anti-racism, it is important to acknowledge the current tragedies that people of colour in the foster care system experience. Statistics show that over 2,500 BAME children that are subjected to an unfair chance at a normal life are waiting to be adopted with a staggering 40% waiting more than 18 months. To address this matter further, black children are typically the ones who wait the longest to find stability in a home.
The question remains, how can foster carers support children of colour in the foster care system? Several ways. In fact, the safety and well-being of a child should be prioritised before any discussions surrounding the colour or ethnicity. Foster carers who are parenting these children have a responsibility to have conversations about race and institutional racism and advocate for anti-racism. A book called ‘How to Be an Antiracist’ by Ibram X. Kendi identifies the sensitive yet uncomfortable reality of the systematic oppression that people of colour face. Living in a racialized society it’s inevitable that BAME children in foster care are at a disadvantage costing them the opportunity to explore their culture, beliefs and identity.
This perfectly ties in with the shortage of BAME foster carers which has had a direct impact on BAME children. This major effect has the potential to lead a BAME child astray from their heritage as they are raised by a foster family who are oblivious to the cultural differences. The odds of a BAME child experiencing racial inequality in the foster care system is far more higher than of those who are not. The fact of the matter is that racism in the foster care system exists just as much as practicing anti-racism.
The quickest and most efficient way to increase your awareness of anti-racism is to educate yourself. Many anti-racism resources are available online for example books, podcasts and articles. Listed below are some helpful guides on how to be more informed about how to be an ally of anti-racism.
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
- Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- About Race with Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby
- Seeing White with John Biewen and Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika
- Code Switch with NPR