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Among the last ones to leave? Understanding the Journeys of Muslim Children in the Care System in the Midlands

Project Funder

Department for Education and Penny Appeal

Project Partners

Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (CTPSR, Coventry University), Mphtaso Boti Phiri (CTPSR, Coventry University, Savita de Souza (Black and Minority Ethnic Perspectives Advisory Committee, Coram BAAF) & Tay Jiva (Penny Appeal).

Project Objectives

This project will 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.

Research Impact

Muslim children are among those who wait the longest and the main impact of this project will be to improve outcomes for Muslim children in the care system and reduce delays in finding permanent homes for them. In the short term, through a programme of knowledge exchange and translation with practitioners (including a practitioner guide and associated training programmes), this project will proactively deliver an immediate impact by improving professional practice in caring for Muslim children in the care system, assessing prospective parents for them and arranging permanent placements. Although the project focusses on the Midlands area, it will have an impact nationally through the resources and legacy it produces.

In the medium term, knowledge and outputs generated from this project will provide and disseminate an evidence base which will directly increase awareness and understanding within policy-making, practitioner and Muslim communities. As a direct consequence, the needs of children in the care system will be better understood and more appropriately and speedily addressed. In the long term, the lasting influence of this project in improving outcomes for Muslim children will reassure both adoptive and biological parents that the needs of these children are being met efficiently and in the best possible way. This research will contribute empirical evidence to three other related policy and practice discussions:

(1) appropriateness or not of ethnic and cultural ‘matching’ as part of the family-finding process.

(2) the care of children who are unaccompanied asylum seekers who in current socio-political contexts are often of Muslim heritage.

3) special guardianship and other forms of permanency.

Through a programme of knowledge exchange events and consultations, this project will have a sustained and permanent impact in this area, improving outcomes for Muslim children in the care system in the Midlands (and beyond), and thus improving their lives