30/08/2017 12:24 BST | Updated 30/08/2017 13:31 BST

Tower Hamlets Council Defends Handling Of Foster Case Involving Christian Child And Muslim Family

'Tower Hamlets Council has the welfare of children at the heart of what we do.'

Social services bosses have defended the way they handled the case of a five-year-old girl from an English speaking Christian family who was placed with mixed-race foster parents.

Tower Hamlets Council faced criticism after the young girl’s case hit the headlines this week with reports saying she had been “forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer in a home where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic”

Coverage of the case, as well as the subject itself, prompted disbelief and outrage.

A family court judge re-analysed the case on Tuesday at a private family court hearing in London and said the youngster should move to live with a relative.

A spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Council said there had been “inaccuracies” in the reporting of the case and said the child was fostered in a temporary placement by an “English speaking family of mixed race”.

The spokesperson said the council was unable to go into details of a case that would identify a child in foster care, adding: “We would like to give more details but we are legally restricted to do so.”

In a statement the council continued: “Tower Hamlets Council has the welfare of children at the heart of what we do.

“The decision to choose foster carers for a child is based on a number of factors including cultural background and proximity to promote contact with the child’s family and the child’s school in order to give them as much stability as possible.

“We have always been working towards the child being looked after by a family member and we continue to do so.”

A spokesman for the Judicial Office, which represents judges, said Judge Khatun Sapnara had re-examined the case at a family court hearing on Tuesday.

He said the judge had decided the girl should leave her foster placement and move to live with a grandmother.

The child has not been identified.