A NEW support group to help Muslim foster children will be launched next month, the first of its kind in Bolton.

The UK Carers for Muslim Children will also look to recruit more Muslim foster carers as agencies hope to take on people from ethnic minorities.

Social worker Tay Jiva has set up the network, which has already gained the support of the Bolton Council of Mosques.

She explained those carers of different or no religion can face difficult decisions while trying to support a child who has been brought up in the Islamic faith.

Ms Jiva said she also wants to give fostered children a support network, where they can meet other youngsters who are in care system.

She added: “The thing with foster care is that the carers are not adoptive parents, so you do need to respect the wishes of the biological parents.

“It can be really difficult, especially as there are a range of standpoints within the Muslim faith — from the very liberal to the fundamentalist.

“I know of carers who feel they are in a difficult situation, where they are really sensitive and worried about offending the parents, and it’s about providing that cultural support.”

The new group will offer advice to new carers about how to aid the children in their Muslim faith, and organise regular meet-up to provide support.

The first meeting takes place at the Bolton Council of Mosques office on Vicarage Street on Sunday, August 24 at 11am.

For more information contact Ms Jiva on 07920 097834.