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Child holding a toy house

Amongst the last to leave: Understanding the Journeys of Muslim Children in the Care System in the Midlands


Department for Education (via Penny Appeal)

Total value of project


Project team

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (PI), Dr Alison Halford, Mphtaso Boti Phiri, Savita de Souza (Co-I) - Coram BAAF


CoramBAAF, Penny Appeal

Duration of project

December 2016 - August 2018

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Project overview

Children need permanent and secure homes, and recent government policy has tried to expedite the process through which permanent homes are found for children who cannot be looked after by their biological parents. According to research evidence, Muslim children experience significant delay in finding a permanent home. Where the child has complex needs due to disability, age, being part of a sibling group or being of dual heritage, finding permanent placement takes even longer.

This research project will analyse the social, cultural and religious reasons for the small number of Muslim parents coming forward to adopt or foster. It will interrogate the barriers that prospective parents face when considering adopting or fostering a child. Through interviews with social workers, adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents this research will present a research-informed narrative of the complexities in Muslim children’s circumstance and identities, which influence how decisions are made about their lives. By better understanding the journeys of these children through the care system, this research will provide an evidence base for practitioners, policy makers and communities to draw upon, and in doing so will improve outcomes for these children, their families and in the long run, for society as a whole.

Since delivering the original research project, impact and outreach work from this project has been ongoing since June 2019.

Project objectives

To improve outcomes for Muslim children in the care system in the Midlands, by specifically understanding their journeys and the contexts in which they occur, in order to inform policy and practice.

 Queen’s Award for Enterprise Logo
University of the year shortlisted
QS Five Star Rating 2023