fostering, adoption & the future of our children
28th October 2018
Currently there are more Muslim children looked after by local authority’s than there are Muslim foster carers in England. Muslim children in England are from the most diverse ethnic backgrounds.
On 28th October, Muslim Women of Merton (MWM) organized an insightful event to raise awareness of the importance of fostering and adoption by the community, covering essential topics around the Islamic perspective, real life stories, lack of Muslim and ethnically matched foster carers and understanding the process involved in fostering & adoption. The afternoon extensively covered what the Islamic opinion is on this issue and the imperative for the community to step up to the challenge and come forward to provide a loving home to a child in need.
As someone completely new to this subject, it was helpful to hear from a diverse range of speakers in the sector, who were kind enough to give their time and input. It was empowering to hear from speakers emphasizing on social cohesion and not letting the element of faith become a barrier in providing the love and support for children in the community who require it the most.
Mayor of Croydon, Speakers and MWM
The afternoon started with Nuzhat Ali, the Chair of MWM introducing the aims of the event, encouraging all the attendees to get involved in the discussion. From the start of the evening, it was clear that the objective of the event was to keep an open mind, engage with the speakers, and take back learning and awareness about this area which we can share within our community.
The highlights of the afternoon for me were hearing from Foster Carer Shabina at Merton Council and Mayor Bernadette Khan. Shabina spoke of her personal experience as a foster carer of over 30 children and Mayor Khan of shared some touching stories of her 3 decades of fostering over 300 year from diverse faiths and background, one of who in his 50’s now decided to change his surname to Khan !
Roshilla Pillay Sr. Social worker at Merton Council provided some key insight into the process of fostering for potential carers, including the role of social workers in this area.
“As Muslim women, we are all very resilient, we all have such strength..I am here for a reason, I am part of this child’s life” (Shabina, Foster Carer)
The event concluded with a positive interaction between guests and the organisations who work really hard in raising awareness on foster care, impacting positively on the lives of many vulnerable Children in the community. In current times of increase in the rise of islamophobia and a conflict of differing views, fostering presents a step forward in disseminating the importance of cohesive unity within the community and the power of diversity.
For more information on becoming a Foster Carer, please have a look at the links below