Culture and religion
If you are caring for a child from a cultural background different from your own, increasing your awareness about their culture, customs or religion can help you to better understand their cultural needs.
- talk to an Aboriginal Community Worker or cultural advisor from the child's cultural background
- think about how your background may influence your attitudes, beliefs, feelings and behaviours towards people from the child or young person’s cultural/religious background
- be aware of any stereotypes and preconceptions that you may have about people from the child or young person’s background, and try to challenge these
- show respect for the child or young person’s cultural, linguistic and religious heritage
- recognise that changes in the child or young person’s environment may cause them to experience cultural confusion and conflict
- understand that the child or young person is more likely to be exposed to discrimination, prejudice and racism if their background is different from those around them
- request further training in cultural awareness by talking to your Case Manager.
Non-Aboriginal carers caring for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child or young person need to help the child maintain connections to their family, community and culture. The identity, culture and language of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander child come from their relationships with family, community and land.
As a carer, your role is to:
- support the child's access to family and community
- promote the child's understanding of their culture
- maintain their connection to their community.
The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has produced a number of useful resources that provide practical advice to enhance the cultural awareness of Indigenous and non-Indigenous carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children:
Where the child wishes to be involved in a religion that is different from their own (or has no nominated religion), or where you would like the child to be involved in your religion, please talk to the Case Manager, as this may be something that needs to be discussed with the child’s family.