Islam &Muslim Fostering – Where We Fit into the picture – Foster Care Link and the Islamic Fostering Service
Although there may be many fostering providers who aim to provide a religiously and culturally appropriate service for Muslim foster carers and looked after Muslim children, Foster Care Link is still the UKs only Muslim Specialist Independent Fostering Agency.
Muslim specialist IFA
The primary Directors of Foster Care Link have over 70 years combined experience of working in the Muslim and BAME communities and voluntary sector. Therefore, they have a wealth of experience of the needs and successful interventions for these communities on a local level.
Grass roots presence in Muslim communities
Foster Care Link has regional offices across England in London, the Midlands, the North West and Yorkshire – all of these offices are based in the heart of large Muslim and BAME communities. We have established good working relationships with these communities local hubs and institutions. This gives us a special reach at a grass roots level into the communities in which our foster carers live and work, and provides us with a first-hand understanding of the realities of their lives, and direct engagement within our carer’s communities. These locations have also allowed us to develop a good network of relationships with the Local Authority social services teams within these regions, which has led to us successfully matching hundreds of Muslim placements with over 70 Local Authorities across the country.
BAME & Muslim social workers
We have a team of 5 permanent and 5 freelance social workers who are from BAME and Muslim backgrounds who understand the cultural norms and values of the communities in which we operate. This ensures that we provide a culturally and religiously appropriate experience when assessing, recruiting, developing and supporting our pool of foster carers. This also helps to remove any inhibitions and fears that our carers may hold when working with us to support our looked after children. The diversity of our team has also enabled us to provide empathetic support for our Muslim looked after children in issues relating to their faith and culture which often affects their relationships with their carers and Local Authority social workers.
Our specialism in Islamic Fostering has been a great resource in helping to demystify and explain the religious and cultural practices and issues experienced by our Muslim Foster children and Muslim Foster Carers to our partners in Local Authority social services teams and other relevant professional disciplines. Our knowledge and expertise in this field have been invaluable for sensitively managing challenging situations between Muslim carers, foster children, Local Authority Social Care and other relevant professional teams around the child. This has enabled those involved with making informed decisions which ultimately improved the outcomes achieved for our Muslim foster children and foster carers.
Our culturally and religiously appropriate ethos is framed within an uncompromising regard to meeting the Fostering Regulations 2011 and the National minimum Standards for Fostering. This has been recognised by Ofsted who have rated our agency as “Outstanding” in all areas in our last two inspections. This was further reinforced when our Director (Ismail Amaan), Registered Manager (Molana Abdur Rahman Sayyed) and Supervising Social worker (Iqra Butt) were requested to deliver a presentation on our agency’s specialism/expertise in Muslim Fostering to both Ofsted and Department for Education officials at the DFE offices in Westminster.
We have also delivered presentations on this same subject on various national TV shows and community hubs. Whilst adhering to legislation and working to best practice, Foster Care Link and it’s project the Islamic Fostering Service seeks to develop a yet under-utilised resource; the many caring Muslim families that would potentially foster children an act of respect for the guidance and recommendation offered by the Prophet (peace be upon him), and as an act of compassion for fellow human beings.