Updated 12.29pm

A seven-year-old fostered girl who was abducted by her biological mother and taken out of the country has been found in England.  

The news was announced by Minister for Children Michael Falzon on Saturday morning, who explained that the young girl is in the custody of UK authorities and is no longer considered missing. 

“Today on World Children’s Day, I am pleased to announce the good news that the young girl has been found and next week there will be legal proceedings to bring her back to Malta.”

He described the finding of the young girl as a "milestone" achieved by the ministry with the help of police and social workers.

Although Falzon named the girl, Times of Malta has chosen not to do so, to respect her privacy. 

The case caused a public outcry last October when it was first reported.

Her foster family raised the alarm when the girl did not return home after what was to be a weekend with her biological mother, who was granted unsupervised access to her daughter.

A month later, a public vigil was held as the foster parents appealed for information about the young girl, who had lived with them since she was six months old. 

Back in February, the court declared that the way the girl was taken out of Malta by her mother constituted an abduction.

Diaries to be handed out to children in care

Children in care will receive a specialised diary for them to write down their ‘life story’, the minister said during the Saturday press conference. 

The diary is part of an initiative under the Children’s Rights Ministry, the Foundation for Social Welfare Services and the Directorate for Alternative Care. 

Remenda Grech, director at Alternative Care (Children and Youth) explained that there are currently 450 children who will receive the diary.

'Id-Djarju ta' Hajti' to be handed out to children in foster care Photo: Matthew Mirabelli'Id-Djarju ta' Hajti' to be handed out to children in foster care Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

The children are either under foster care, residential care or community care. 

“Each boy and girl will be given a ‘life story’ diary, where they can write down their feelings and the experiences they face while growing up in care,” Grech explained. 

She said that the diary will be filled out by the child under the guidance of a social care worker, who will help the child understand their past and present experiences and any emotions they are facing. 

“The diary also provides information and explanation of the child’s rights. A lot of research has gone into this diary, and we believe it will provide children an opportunity to write their life story.”

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