In New York City, a Look at Muslim Fostercare

March 14, 2004

Source: The New York Times

On March 14, 2004 The New York Times reported on Muslim fostercare in New York City. "The idea of foster care by unrelated guardians is unfamiliar to some ethnic groups, and one result is that when Muslim children, for example, do enter the foster care system, they are likely to go to homes that are unfamiliar with Islam... Zeinab Chahine, deputy commissioner for the Administration for Children's Services, said the city was conducting an ad campaign to match more children with families of the same religion. Earlier this year, she and Commissioner William C. Bell met with Muslims at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York on East 96th Street to, as she put it, 'try and recruit families from the communities where the children are coming from.' The city says the number of Muslim children entering the city's foster care system is low, around 30 each year out of several thousand, and religion is only one of a number of factors taken into account in placing them; others include health, language and keeping siblings together. Mr. Alishtari plans to start an organization to educate non-Muslim families that have taken in Muslim children. 'Jewish people have done what we're about to do 30, 40 years ago,' he said. 'There needs to be an interface between the Muslims and the system.'"