CoramBAAF’s Elaine Dibben provides expert comment on fostering for BBC Newsnight, Radio 2 and Radio 4

Published: Thursday 31st August 2017

Following the story in The Times newspaper earlier this week reporting that a Christian girl had been placed in foster care with a Muslim family and this had caused her distress, CoramBAAF provided expert comment for several broadcast media channels on the legislation, practice and decisions surrounding fostering.

Elaine Dibben on BBC Radio 4

CoramBAAF consultant Elaine Dibben spoke firstly on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on 29 August, discussing the factors that are taken into consideration when a child is placed with a foster family. Elaine highlighted the “competing and opposing needs” that have to be balanced when deciding what is best for a child. You can listen to the full interview (around 37 minutes in) on the BBC Radio 4 website

On 30 August, Elaine was one of the guests discussing cross-cultural fostering on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show.

Elaine commented: “Foster carers may find themselves looking after children of different ethnicities or cultures and this is something they are trained for and supported in doing. For example, we’re aware of Christian families who feel they can support Muslim young people because they both have a strong faith. They understand the importance of it and will make connections with people in the local mosque, with other people in the community to ensure that the young person is still able to practice their religion.”

Listen to the full interview (around 36 minutes in) on the BBC Radio 2 website

Elaine also spoke further on the topic for BBC Newsnight (30 August) and commented that an estimated 6,000 or 7,000 foster carers are needed UK-wide to meet demand and to ensure there is “enough choice to provide the best placement possible for each child that comes into care.” You can watch the full interview (around 8 minutes in) on the BBC iPlayer

CoramBAAF, part of the Coram Group of charities, is a leading provider of training for social work managers, practitioners, foster carers, adopters and all professionals dealing with childcare in England, and delivers learning and training through partnership arrangements in Northern Ireland and Wales. Further details of upcoming courses can be found on the CoramBAAF website

You can find further information on fostering and support for foster carers in CoramBAAF's fostering section of and search CoramBAAF's bookshop to find publications and resources on these topics.