My Family Group’s Annual Roundtable Event on Muslim Heritage Children in Care took place on the 27th April this year, with the theme of ‘Supporting Identity and Wellbeing’. It brought together stakeholders and experts from a range of sectors. We convened in the interest of securing equitable outcomes – happy, secure and prosperous lives – for Muslim-heritage children in care.
Muslim Heritage Children in Care: Supporting Identity and Wellbeing and our Change a Life Campaign, aimed at impacting long-term, sustainable and positive change for Muslim-heritage children in care.
The report speaks to the care sector and the Muslim community, and calls for:
- Anti-racism, cultural competency and faith-sensitive training to be implemented across the care sector
- Uniform systems to capture faith data across the care sector
- Better faith-sensitive support for carers of Muslim-heritage children in care
- More joined-up, collaborative and strategic working between the care-sector and Muslim organisations
- Commitment to support the mental health of Muslim-heritage children in care
- For Mosques to lead and sustain scholarly-informed conversations regarding the Muslim community’s role in supporting Muslim-heritage children in care, to increase the uptake and raise the profile of fostering and adoption within the Muslim community
- For the Muslim community to help to drive change on a local level by working directly with Muslim-heritage children in care, and their carers, to provide faith and culturally sensitive support
There are approximately 5,000 Muslim-heritage children in the care sector according to the most recent research. This includes unaccompanied asylum seeking children, a staggering 75-95% of whom it is estimated come from a Muslim background, and who have faced unimaginable trauma. An overwhelming majority of these Muslim children come from ethnic minority backgrounds, and are therefore overrepresented in the care sector, and face additional barriers including longer wait times for placement.
My Family Group are working to ensure these children don’t face the added disadvantages inevitable from a system which doesn’t recognise or understand their faith and cultural heritage. To do this, we need to advocate for change. Our mission is to create secure happy, productive and well-grounded Muslim-heritage children and young people who have experienced the care system.
We are asking our supporters and stakeholders to join us on our journey to achieve equitable outcomes, and an end to cycles of disadvantage, for Muslim-heritage children in care. We are asking supporters to Change a Life, beginning with this conversation, to establish a clear agenda for change.