The London borough of Tower Hamlets has criticised media reports of an ongoing foster care case involving a five year-old girl as “inaccurate”.
Earlier this week The Times claimed the child, who came from a white Christian family, had been placed in the care of a Muslim family who spoke Arabic. According to the newspaper’s report, the girl was “very distressed” because the family did not speak English and had taken away her crucifix necklace.
A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets council insisted that while they could not “go into details of a case that would identify a child in foster care, there [have been] inaccuracies in the reporting of it”. The girl had in fact been placed with “an English-speaking family of mixed race” but this was only ever meant to be a temporary measure, the spokesperson continued.
The council had “always been working towards the child being looked after by a family member and … continue to do so”.
Since the story of this placement broke, the child has been removed from her placement and is now in the care of her grandmother. The Times reports that Judge Khatun Sapnara, who made that ruling, said councils should try to find “culturally matched placements” for children taken into care. Priority should be given to foster carers who can “[meet] the needs of the child in terms of ethnicity, culture and religion” she declared.
Tower Hamlets council are not alone in their criticism of the way this case has been reported. Miqdaad Versi, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted that the headlines were “disgusting”. He also asked: “What about 100s of Muslim children fostered with Christians?”