Girl in Muslim foster carer controversy ‘wants to see them again’
October 3, 2017 1 comment
A five year-old girl who became the subject of controversy over the summer had a “warm” relationship with her foster carers, the local authority has reported.
In August, a report in The Times claimed the girl had been distressed after being placed with an Arabic-speaking Muslim family despite being coming from a Christian background. The story appeared under the lurid headline “Christian child forced into Muslim foster care”.
The report attracted generated headlines and controversy, prompting a spokesperson for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to criticise “inaccuracies” in the stories which had appeared. The girl, referred to as ‘AB’, had in fact been placed with a mixed race English-speaking foster family they insisted, and only on a temporary basis.
But following the furore, the girl was taken away again by social workers and placed with her maternal grandmother, who herself came from a Muslim background and who planned to take AB abroad with her. Meanwhile, Tower Hamlets launched an investigation into the newspaper’s various allegations.
The reportedly Muslim foster carers had in fact provided supportive care for AB, that investigation later concluded, and she had in fact expressed a desire to see at least one of them again. The grandmother also had a good relationship with the family.
A family court judge quoted from the report at a recent hearing during ongoing care proceedings. AB’s mother is fighting to regain care of her daughter. She has a criminal conviction and alcohol problems.
AB’s father, meanwhile, has not been located.
The Judge described the investigation’s findings as “very interesting and robust” and said they provided an “alternative narrative” to the Times report. Judge Sapnara added:
“The local authority has satisfied itself that the foster carers have not behaved in any way that was inconsistent with its provision of warm and appropriate care for this child and this view was shared by the girl’s court-appointed guardian.”
Judge Sapnara ordered the council to publish the report to counter the media claims, giving social workers until this Friday to produce a suitably redacted version for that purpose.
But the mother’s legal team objected to the idea of publication and said were considering an appeal.
Photo by Gordon Joly via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
October 3, 2017
Categories: Fostering & Adoption