Topics: Foster care, Culture, Adoption Pages: 6 (1944 words) Published: April 13, 2013
Latino Children Lost in the US Foster Care System



Understanding diversity, cultural sensitivity, and culturally appropriate advocacy for the Latino children whom are in foster care and begin removed from their culture and being place with different races. One of the major problems in foster care and adoption today is the lack of cultural competence in services to Latino children. Creating cultural bridges to meet the needs of the large numbers of African American and Latino children in foster care is still not common practice in human services. The Council on Adoptable Children developed the first Hispanic Adoption Program in 1978 in New York. At that time, Latino children, who accounted for one-fourth of the city’s foster care population, were systematically placed along color lines in foster care and adoptive homes. Dark-skinned Latino children were placed with African American families, lighter-skinned children with Caucasian families. To stop that practice, a group of Latino professionals in 1982 founded the Committee for Hispanic Children and Families a nonprofit, community-based organization advocating for Latino families. In this paper I will broadly explore cultural diversity.

Exploring Diversity in Self
Cultural sensitivity begins with understanding and appreciating self. Individual with their own blend of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, religion or spirituality, geographic location, and physical and mental abilities. Cultural Awareness developing sensitivity and understanding of another ethnic group.  This usually involves internal changes in terms of attitudes and values.  Awareness and sensitivity also refer to the qualities of openness and flexibility that people develop in relation to others.  Cultural awareness must be supplemented with cultural knowledge(Adams, 1995). Most people are knowledgeable and open about some aspects of their culture. About other aspects, they either have less information or they have a heightened sense of privacy. In some matters they might fear judgment or discrimination. As a foundation for expanding understanding of other cultures, it is important to be thoroughly acquainted with your own Imagine that you are describing yourself and your culture to someone who has power over your life. When you describe your culture to this person, are there aspects that you would leave out or try to make “fit” what you think might be more acceptable to them? If you often had to do this, what do you think would happen to these parts of yourself? Children who are in foster care cannot speak for their self they always have someone speaking for them but we still need to be culturally diverse when dealing with them Cultural Sensitivity to the Latino Population

Cultural awareness is the ability to work effectively with people from a variety of cultural, ethnic, political, racial, religious, and economic backgrounds. It is being aware and respectful of the cultural norms, values, traditions, and parenting styles of those with whom you work. Cultural awareness includes the ability to learn from and relate to individuals from your own culture as well as those from other cultures. Cultural awareness is not about making others conform to your standards. It is about cultivating an open mind and new skills.

Many people do not know that there are 21 Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil is not one of them. Although Latinos speak the same language and share similar values and a heritage from Spain, there are vast differences among national groups. Martínez; Guarnaccia,;Shrout; Canino;Alegría; Lewis-Fernández (2007) Latinos shift in their language use, a number of important cultural shifts and social experiences change. Language measures captures different dimensions of these acculturation processes Latinos are not monolithic, and treating all Latinos alike is a mistake. One area of where there was not a great deal of...

Bibliography: Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism New York, BY: Basic Books (1992).
Children’s Bureau Express (2001). Growing Latino population spurs efforts to recruit Latino foster and adoptive families.
Cross T., Bazron,. (1989). Towards a culturally competent system of care, volume I. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Child Development Center, CASSP Technical Assistance Center.
Adams, L. Diane (Ed.). (1995). Health issues for women of color: A cultural diversity perspective. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons (1992).
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