In most instances, children and young people are placed with foster carers who are ‘the best match’ and ethnicity, culture, race and religion, etc, will be considerations in determining this match. This is why Chrysalis Care emphasise the importance of diversity.
However, there is much more to the matching process than demographics and there are times when children and young people are placed within fostering families who practice a different religious faith to their own, or indeed one or the other may not have a particular religious persuasion at all.
As with all things in the fostering world, the needs of the child or young person are always the central consideration and as such, it is expected that their religious and other needs are prioritised. This may mean that a foster carer has to make adaptations to their day to day lives, usual routines and daily practices, in order to ensure that the child’s needs are not compromised.
During the assessment and approval process, foster carers are encouraged to think about the changes they may need to make as part of their new fostering adventure. If an individual, couple or family who want to foster, have strong religious (or other) views, they will need to consider how becoming a foster carer is likely to impact upon this.
At Chrysalis Care, we have had a number of examples where inter-faith placements have been successful. Therefore, although religious beliefs are not to be ignored, they do not necessarily present a barrier to fostering across other religions, although they are an important consideration when making the choice to foster children and young people.