A foster mother with ten years' experience has been struck off after a Muslim girl she was looking after converted to Christianity, it has been reported.
By Matthew Moore
Last Updated: 5:10PM GMT 08 Feb 2009
A local council removed the woman from their register for failing to "respect and preserve" the teenager's faith, even though the girl made her own decision to change religion when she was 16.
The carer, a churchgoer in her 50s who has fostered more than 80 children, is now planning legal action against the council, amid complaints from religious groups that Christians are increasingly becoming victims of discrimination.
She claims that she did not pressurise the girl, who was put in care after being assaulted by a family member, to convert, and actually tried to discourage her initial interest in Christianity.
"We had a multicultural household and I had no problems helping the young person maintain her faith of birth," the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Mail on Sunday.
"I have always prided myself on being very professional in what I do."
She added: "I offered her alternatives. I offered to find her places to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends or family. But she said to me from the word go: 'I am interested and I want to come [to church]'."
The carer claims that social services from the counvil, which also cannot be named for legal reason, were aware that the girl was attending a Christian church, but her foster manager became "incandescent with rage" when she was baptised.
Council officials advised the teenager to reconsider her decision, and in November struck the carer off their register, citing a breakdown of trust.