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Supporting looked after children during Ramadan13.05.20

Supporting looked after children during Ramadan (May 2020)

by Helal Ahmed, 13 May 2020

Working with children, we must always bear in mind our reasonability to ensure their ‘welfare’ needs are met. It is of course paramount as the Child[ren] should be the focus of any decision. Living in a diverse and multi-cultural society there are times when we must do the best we can with what we have. It is not always possible to find a foster placement for a child that matches all their needs.

During this month of Ramadan there have been Muslim children removed into foster care and questions asked by professionals on how the children’s needs can be met, especially their religious and cultural needs. Tay Jiva MBE, a Social Worker who has worked with children in care for 20 years, has produced this document, with a little help from a small group of us, to assist foster carers and other professionals navigate life through Ramadan for Muslim children in foster care. It applies to Muslim Children in foster care or those who have just been placed into foster care following removal from their birth families. The document came about as a result of a request to Tay Jiva from non-Muslim foster carer’s seeking guidance.

One of the key points the document makes, is to enquire with the children and the birth families [when removal has taken place into a non-Muslim (can be any family) foster family] what the children would normally do during Ramadan, would they for instance fast/pray, miss school for Eid celebrations and so and so forth. Unfortunately, some children aren’t able to celebrate Ramadhan in the way it is intended to be celebrated due to their environment at home. This document also tries to address this. The document has been produced in a way not to offend any sects of Islam and is not, in my view prescriptive.

Download Guidance here

Please feel free to share the document so that it may benefit professionals, foster carers and most importantly create a better understanding for all the children we are here to support.