Tower Hamlets Council criticises media reporting of fostering case

Tower Hamlets Council in London has criticised the media reporting of a fostering case in which a Christian child was placed in the temporary care of Muslim families.

In a statement the council said the child – contrary to reports – is in fact fostered by an English-speaking family of mixed race in a temporary placement.

The Times had published an article on Monday after seeing confidential local authority reports, in which a social services supervisor describes the child sobbing and begging not to be returned to one foster carer because “they don’t speak English.”
The report stated that the supervisor heard the girl, who at times was “very distressed”, claiming that the foster carer removed her necklace with a crucifix on it. The paper reported that she was a “white Christian child” who had been placed with two Muslim households in London over the past six months.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said: “While we cannot go into details of a case that would identify a child in foster care, there are inaccuracies in the reporting of it. For example, the child is in fact fostered by an English speaking family of mixed race in this temporary placement.

“We would like to give more details but we are legally restricted to do so. Tower Hamlets Council has the welfare of children at the heart of what we do. The decision to choose foster carers for a child is based on a number of factors including cultural background and proximity to promote contact with the child’s family and the child’s school in order to give them as much stability as possible.

“We have always been working towards the child being looked after by a family member and we continue to do so.”

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