Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 02:39 am
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1138701/Foster-parent-looked-80-children-struck--Muslim-girl-care-Christian.html

Quote:

Foster parent who has looked after 80 children struck off...because a Muslim girl in her care became a Christian

By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 10:11 PM on 07th February 2009

A foster mother has been struck off by a council after a teenage Muslim girl in her care became a Christian.

The carer, who has ten years’ experience and has looked after more than 80 children, said she was ‘devastated’ by the decision.

‘This is my life,’ she revealed. ‘It is not just a job for me. It is a vocation. I love what I do. It is also my entire income. I am a single carer, so that is all I have to live on.’

The foster mother said she had recently bought a larger car and had been renting a farmhouse, with a pony in a field, so that she could provide more disadvantaged children with a new life.

‘That was always my dream and then suddenly, bang, it was gone. I am now in a one-bedroom flat,’ she added.

The girl is understood to be back with members of her family, who have not been told of her conversion. A second girl the woman was fostering has been moved to another carer.

The woman insisted that, although she was a Christian, she had put no pressure on the Muslim girl, who was 16 at the time, to be baptised.

But council officials allegedly accused her of failing to ‘respect and preserve’ the child’s faith and tried to persuade the girl to reconsider her decision.

The carer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is now preparing to take legal action against the council with the support of the girl, now 17, who also cannot be named.

Her case follows the controversy over Caroline Petrie, 45, the Christian nurse in Somerset suspended without pay in December for offering to pray for an elderly woman patient. She was reinstated this week.

Yesterday, Christians expressed outrage over the foster carer’s treatment, saying that it was a basic right for people to be able to change their religion and the woman should be praised, not punished.

Mike Judge, a spokesman for the Christian Institute, a pressure group which is funding her case, said: ‘I cannot imagine that an atheist foster carer would be struck off if a Christian child in her care stopped believing in God.

‘This is the sort of double standard which Christians are facing in modern Britain. In recent months, we have seen grandparents, a nurse, adoption agencies, firemen, registrars, elderly care homes and now a foster carer being punished because of the Christian beliefs they hold. It has got to stop.’

The carer, a mother-of-two in her 50s, has worked with young children for much of her life and became a foster parent for the local authority in the North of England in 1999.
In 2007, she was asked to look after the girl, who had been assaulted by a family member.

She told council officials that she was very happy to support the girl in her religion and culture.

‘We had a multicultural household and I had no problems helping the young person maintain her faith of birth,’ she said. ‘I have always prided myself in being very professional in what I do. If something works for a young person, whether I agree with it or not, I am happy to support them in that.’

But the girl, whom the foster mother describes as caring and intelligent, defied expectations by choosing not to wear overtly Muslim clothes or to eat Halal food.
The girl, whose interest in Christianity had begun at school some time before her foster placement, also made it clear that she wanted to go to church.

The carer, an Anglican who attends a local evangelical church, said: ‘I did initially try to discourage her.

‘I offered her alternatives. I offered to find places for her to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends or family. But she said to me from the word go, “I am interested and I want to come.” She sort of burst in.’

The carer said that the girl’s social workers were fully aware that she was going to church and had not raised any objections.

The girl had told her auxiliary social worker of her plans to convert before she was baptised in January last year, and the social worker had appeared to give her consent.

‘At that point the brakes were off,’ the carer said. ‘I couldn’t have stopped her if I had wanted to. She saw the baptism as a washing away of the horrible things she had been through and a symbol of a new start.’

Three months later, however, senior officials complained that they had not been fully informed of the girl’s intentions to become a Christian.

They said that she should have undergone counselling to ensure that she understood the implications, especially as such conversions are dealt with harshly in some Muslim countries.

The foster carer said, however, that the girl had thought about her decision very carefully and was aware that members of her family might react strongly, so she was adamant that they should not be told.

The carer said that as the auxiliary social worker knew about the baptism, she had not thought it necessary to tell the fostering team as well.

But she received a phone call from the fostering manager who was ‘incandescent with rage’ that the baptism had gone ahead.

The carer said: ‘Up to that point, we had had a good relationship, so I was quite taken aback. I was very shocked.’

In April, council officials told the girl that she should not attend any church activity for six months, so that she could reconsider the wisdom of becoming a Christian.

The carer was also instructed to discourage the girl from participating in any Christian activities, even social events. The council then told the carer there had been a breakdown of trust and in November removed her from the register.

‘It never occurred to me that they would go that far,’ she said. ‘I was concerned that the council seemed to view Christianity in such a negative light. I wonder whether if it had gone the other way " if one of my Christian young people had decided to embrace another faith " there would have been this level of fuss.’

She added that the girl has been devastated by the experience.

The carer’s solicitor Nigel Priestley said: ‘There is no doubt that the event that provoked the council was the decision by the girl to be baptised. This girl was 16 and has the right to make this choice, so for the council to react in this way is totally disproportionate. Even at this late hour, we hope that the council will resolve the issue.’

A council spokes-man said: ‘From the details provided, we believe that this information relates to a child who is the subject of a final care order in favour of the council. In those circumstances, we are unable to pass any comment.

‘We would never be able to comment on sensitive issues surrounding a child in care. ‘To do so would be irresponsible and in this particular case may put the child at risk of harm.’
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 03:28 am
According to the report, the girl has been of Muslim faith.

.... and interestingly, the foster parent "an Anglican who attends a local evangelical church".
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 04:07 am
@Walter Hinteler,
The girl, whose interest in Christianity had begun at school some time before her foster placement, also made it clear that she wanted to go to church.
The girl was removed from her Muslim family for some reason.
If a young person from a church going family had been placed in foster care with atheists and then this young person left the church, do you really think there could have been a case out of that? I don´t think so.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 05:30 am
@saab,
But you don't have another source besides that Daily Mail report, isn't it?
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:07 am
@Walter Hinteler,
OK, I might have the source of Daily Mail, but I asked a question which has nothing to do with my source.
Would a foster child from a Christian family who leaves the church get the same case?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:27 am
@saab,
I don't now (exactly) what county council it is/was.
But even if I did, I don't know (exactly) how they would handle this.

I don't know if the foster parent has parental responsibility either. (That would be important to know, in my opinion.)

Besides that, I'm know just the basics of the Children Act .
But I wonder, who can answer your question without knowing the relevant details.

saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 07:16 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I can only agree with you.
On the other hand if I as a foster mother - in this case there is no foster father - or as foster parents shouldn´t I in certain areas influence the foster child?
Correct behavior, learn to get up in time for school, have some duties in the house - just like you would with your own children.
Then there are other things in which I might or might not influence children:
political views, relgious views and other areas.
Depending on my own behavior the influence will be different.
If I force my kids against their will to go to church they probably will get to dislike it. If I don´t force them they might like to go. If I forbid them they might even join the church.
Whatever you do it is wrong. (smile)
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 07:32 am
That's right, goddamnit . . . those namby-pamby Brits are knucklin' under to the towel-heads . . . pretty soon, we're gonna hafta nuke them Brits just like we should nuke all them towel-heads . . . watch out you ain't next, Walter . . .
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 08:17 am
The thing which is so sad about this one is that England was a serious country less than a hundred years ago. This sort of kowtowing to alien ideologies is precisely the kind of thing which never happens in serious countries.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 08:53 am
@gungasnake,
Say, gunga, what has the Children Act to do with "kowtowing to alien ideologies"?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 09:15 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

The thing which is so sad about this one is that England was a serious country less than a hundred years ago. This sort of kowtowing to alien ideologies is precisely the kind of thing which never happens in serious countries.


Tempora mutantur, gunga, but even the Children Act of 1908 mentioned a couple of rights for children and young persons ... and restrictions for foster parents.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 09:24 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Tempora mutantur, gunga, but even the Children Act of 1908 mentioned a couple of rights for children and young persons ...


One would have to assume that would include the right to leave a devil-worship sect when the "child" got to be about 16 or 17. I was driving at 16 myself; I assume if I could stay alive in 1950s cars at that age I could have managed to say goodbye to the devil worshippers...
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 09:36 am
@gungasnake,
Well, I'm glad to hear that the age of majority was/is so low where you live, gunga.

It's 18 in England [in Scotland it is 16] (and was 21 during that period, 100 years ago, which you seem to admire so much).
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 10:42 am
In Sweden you were a minor - under 21 - until 1974.
You could not leave so to say the Swedish church until 1952.
You could be a member of another dominination than the Lutheran church but not leave the Lutheran church.
This is less than 100 years ago.
It is not only England where you have to take other religions in consideration.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 11:30 am
16 Isn't the age of majority in any part of the U.S. Nonetheless not being able to drive past about 16 or 17 comes close to being a death sentence anywhere other than in cities, and driving a motor vehicle is about as complex and potentially dangerous an activity as there is. And somebody capable to driving in traffic is capable of deciding he or she no longer wants to be a devil worshipper.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 11:57 am
@gungasnake,
If that was questioned: it's 17 for driving license in the UK.
(And young persons generally can decide from 14 onwards about their religion. Generally. If you have more background infos about this case, certainly there's the question why not here. - How's your interpretation of the Child Act here?)


What age, did you say, gunga, is the age of majority in the USA?


gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 10:54 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
How's your interpretation of the Child Act here?...


I assume you're talking about the unicef convention on the rights of the child...

I view the UN as basically toxic; it's hard to believe anything beneficial to children could come out of such an organization when everybody and everything else on the planet is harmed by it.

If I had to make up a list of things which are harmful to children in America the top of that list would look something like:

  • the government/NEA school monopoly
  • the "war on drugs"
  • the homosexual agenda
  • poverty
  • American media and the lack of a healthy national culture


Poverty as it affects children could be fixed pretty easily and at little real cost, i.e. provide kids with cheeseburgers fries and shakes, clothing and books if their parents can't. Fix the other problems and I can't see a reason why any kid living in America should need the UN for anything.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 12:08 pm
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

I assume you're talking about the unicef convention on the rights of the child...


Not at all. I asked you explicitly Child Act because that's the original law (in 1889 as "act of parliament for the prevention of cruelty to children" aka" children's charter", 1908 "Children's Act", 1932 "Children and Young Persons Act", ... and as latest the "Children Act 2004").

This has nothing to do with UN and/or UNICEF but with normal parliamentary work and legal business.

Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 12:10 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Thanks for adding a different to this thread.

But I prefer not to discuss two totally different subjects at the same time.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Feb, 2009 08:42 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
You appear to be living in Germany... Why the interest in English laws?
 

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