We hope this piece prompts you to ask yourself how you can provide positive help and support to children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Article 20 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that “Children who cannot be looked after by their own family have a right to special care and must be looked after properly, by people who respect their ethnic group, religion, culture and language”.
Promoting children’s ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identities
NIROMP believes that children should be cared for with families who can help them navigate racial and other stereotypes and promote their ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identities and promote these.
- Children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, wherever they are looked after, need support to appreciate their cultural heritage.
- Children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds need support to face racism and discrimination.
- Black and minority ethnic carers are often well placed to empathise with birth parents’ difficulties and help their children have a sense of pride and achievement.
- Black and minority ethnic children need help to make better sense of their identity and family history.
- Make sure that there are opportunities for family time and make sure that identity issues are not put on the back burner.
- Ask the child’s family about their ethnicity and record it correctly. Ineffective and inaccurate recording of this information impacts adversely on service development and provision for children.
If you are a foster carer, relative, biological parent or simply an individual who wants to support a young person. Mix-d: offers parenting tips, guidance and advice on the development of children’s self identity.
The Mix-d website contains heaps of valuable resources developed from experience of working with mixed-race children and young people from up and down the country.
How your child sees themselves in their home will have a massive impact on how they see themselves in society.
Being ready for society can mean a number of things – but most importantly it is about the ability to understand yourself and your surroundings.Mix-D
Children in care have the universal needs all children share in order to develop into physically and emotionally healthy adults, with a positive sense of self.
The Mix-d organisation provides training for professionals and carers. A range of helpful resources can be downloaded via their website.
Below are useful links and resources:
Mixed Up: ‘I was adopted by two black parents – they made me who I am today’
‘I have grown up identifying as both Black and mixed-race and, ever since I was placed with my parents, they have instilled in me a sense of culture and belonging.’Annalisa
The positive reinforcement Annalisa experienced at home wasn’t always reflected in the wider world. As a child, surviving in a largely white environment led to feelings of isolation.
Read Annalisa’s story: