Mother of Christian girl sent to live with Muslim foster parents 'was from Muslim family'

The girl has now been sent to live with her maternal grandmother

Samuel Osborne
Thursday 31 August 2017 10:06
Comments
The girl was looked after by two different Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets
The girl was looked after by two different Muslim households after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets

The mother of a five-year-old English-speaking girl who was reportedly distressed at being placed in a foster home with a Muslim couple was born into the Islamic faith, court documents have revealed.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was looked after by two different Muslim households in the last six months after being placed into foster care in Tower Hamlets, east London.

She has now been sent to live with her grandmother.

A court order from judge Khatun Sapnara states the girl's maternal grandparents are "of a Muslim background but are non practising."

"The child's mother says they are of Christian heritage," the order continues.

A report in The Sunday Times based on confidential local authority reports said the girl had been "very distressed" after a carer removed her Christian cross necklace and she was banned from eating spaghetti carbonara, her favourite meal, because it contained bacon.

Concerns were reportedly raised over her welfare because her foster carer wore the niqab and allegedly told the English-speaking girl to learn Arabic.

But the court order said a court-appointed guardian, acting in the child's interests, assessed her placement with the second Muslim family and had "no concerns" about the child's welfare.

It also revealed she had been taken away from her mother in March this year by police.

While local authorities are supposed to consider a child's religion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background when making decisions about foster care, the order says there was "no culturally matched foster placement available."

Following the ruling that the girl should live with her grandmother for an "interim" period, Debbie Jones, corporate director of Children's Services at Tower Hamlets, said: "Once the decision was taken to place the child into temporary care, we had to find the best placement available at the time.

“While cultural background is always a significant consideration in making this decision, so too are other factors including remaining in the local area to promote contact with the child’s family and for the child to continue at the same school in order to give them as much stability as possible."

The girl could end up living abroad with the grandmother, who wants to move to her country of origin, and the case will be reconsidered in the East London Family Court on 2 October.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in