A new report has been launched by leading fostering organisation, The Fostering Network, outlining the challenges faced by Muslim foster carers and prospective carers.
The report on Muslim fostering was conducted by the Muslim Foster Project and was led by The Fostering Network in partnership with Mercy Mission UK and funded by the Better Communities Business Network.
In 2017, Mercy Mission and The Fostering Network with the support Better Communities Business Network (BCBN) launched the Muslim Fostering Project. The Fostering Network carried out a detailed study of understanding the barriers to recruiting Muslim foster carers. Internal release the importance of the report snippets out of the report.
The report highlighted how 80% of applicants from the Muslim community did not go past the initial hiring stage to foster a child and in some areas up to 90% of Muslim children are were placed away from their faith group.
Shadim Hussain Chief Executive at My Foster Family said,
“Since the launch of the project in 2017, My Foster Family has helped over 3,000 Muslims considering becoming foster carers and worked in partnership with 30 local authorities to support over 1,000 foster carers involved in cross-cultural placements.
At My Foster Family, we have seen successful outcomes from working in partnership with fostering services, third sector, mosques and the wider community. While we recognise there is a national shortage of foster carers, particularly from the Muslim community, we feel optimistic that the findings and recommendations from this report are actioned. We hope to see a significant improvement in both foster carer recruitment and the experience Muslim children in foster care.”
The experience of the Muslim community in England that were outlined in the report explored the following:
- Understanding the Islamic mandate for the care of children
- Childhood and the forming of identity
- Identity and the looked after child
- Religious practice and culture
- Social worker matching
- Cultural competence, confidence and humility of all those involved in fostering
In addition, the report highlighted recommended practices that could help in aiding with relevant training and support for non-Muslim foster carers looking after Muslim children.
The report also contains a literature review which makes a number of recommendations in a bid make improvements in the Muslim fostering sector.