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Tips for carers of CALD children

This checklist - adapted from work of Elizabeth Vonk in Cultural Competence for Trans-racial Adoptive Parents (2001) - outlines practical ways in which carers can support CALD children.

Practical ways to support cultural maintenance

  • We establish regular contact with people of other cultural backgrounds in our lives e.g., through friendships, attendance in community groups/activities
  • We learn about the child/young person’s cultural, linguistic, religious background and cultural community in Australia and support the child/young person to do likewise
  • We include information about the child/young person’s family history, and cultural and religious heritage in Life Story Work
  • We provide opportunities for the child/young person to develop positive friendships with children and adults from their cultural background
  • We reside in areas with a culturally diverse population
  • We place the child/young person in schools with culturally diverse student / teacher populations
  • We purchase books, toys and other entertainment material that reflect the language and/or culture of the child/young person
  • We include traditions and celebrations from the child/young person’s culture or religion in our lives
  • We provide opportunities for the child/young person to learn and/or maintain their birth language
  • We seek services and supports in the community that will help the child/young person with cultural, linguistic, religious maintenance
  • We involve religious leaders in the life of the child, where appropriate
  • We recognise and support the role of birth parents/families in cultural, linguistic and religious maintenance, where this is part of the approved care plan.

Helping CALD children respond to racism, prejudice and discrimination

  • We educate the child/young person about the realities of racism and discrimination
  • We understand the impact that discrimination and racism can have on children/young people from CALD backgrounds
  • We help the child/young person deal with racism through open discussion in our home about the issue
  • We are aware of the attitudes of friends, family members and other significant people in our lives about the child/young person’s cultural, linguistic, religious differences
  • We are aware of and teach the child/young person strategies for dealing with racism
  • We help the child/young person develop pride in their appearance and culture
  • We help the child/young person understand that being discriminated against does not reflect personal shortcomings
  • We validate their feelings including hurt and anger about being the subject of discrimination or racism
  • We obtain support (as needed) from peers, services and networks in dealing with discrimination and racism.

Cultural understanding

  • We understand how our cultural background influences our attitudes, beliefs and behaviours
  • We understand our feelings, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards people from the child/young person’s cultural or religious background
  • We are aware of stereotypes and preconceptions that we have about people from the child/young person’s cultural/religious background and address these biases
  • We respect the cultural, linguistic and religious heritage of the child/young person
  • We understand the unique needs of the child/young person in relation to his/her cultural, linguistic and/or religious heritage
  • We recognise that the child/young person may be experiencing cultural confusion, conflict and/or change, and may require ongoing support
  • We understand that the child/young person may be exposed to discrimination, prejudice or racism by virtue of being placed in a non-CALD family.
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Last updated: 30 Mar 2020