Concern for Christian girl in Muslim foster care household

Mon 28 Aug 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

A native English Christian girl has been placed in the care of two Muslim households in London where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic and remove her Christian cross necklace.

According to the Times, the foster placements were made within the past six months, against the wishes of the five-year-old girl's family in Tower Hamlets.

The Times, which is protecting the girl's identity the reason why she was placed in care, reported that her mother is concerned about her child living in a culture which she knows nothing about, as well as being exposed to religion that she doesn't follow. 

The paper said confidential local authority reports reveal a social services supervisor described the child as "sobbing and begging not to be returned to the foster carer's home because 'they don't speak English' ".

According to The Times, the document revealed that the supervisor also said the girl was "very distressed, claiming that the foster carer removed her necklace, which had a Christian cross, and also suggested that she should learn Arabic".

The Times said most recently, the girl told her mother that "Christmas and Easter are stupid" and that "European women are stupid and alcoholic".

Friends of the mother told The Times: "This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church.”

"She’s already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family. She needs surroundings in which she’ll feel secure and loved.

"Instead, she’s trapped in a world where everything feels foreign and unfamiliar. That’s really scary for a young child."

The paper reports Tower Hamlets authority will no comment on the situation. 

However, its website states it looks for carers "who can provide a child with a loving and stable environment for them to grow and develop". I also states that a carer would "need to help [a child] them feel comfortable in your home and their surroundings."

The Department for Education didn’t comment on the case in particular, but a spokesman said: "When placing a child in a foster home, the local authority must ensure that the placement is the most appropriate way to safeguard the child and support their welfare.

"A child's background is an important consideration in this decision."

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