Charity says confidence in fostering can only be regained with mass testing for coronavirus

A looming crisis in foster care can only be dealt with by universal voluntary mass testing for coronavirus, an organisation which runs care for children says.

Diverse Care, labelled ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, has unveiled a public sculpture to thank carers, but also to highlight the huge number of young people who will need support as schools go back.

Diverse Care is offering all parents and children free testing as part of the service – and calling for their wholesale use across the sector.

The call comes as a major art installation at the Queen’s House, Royal Greenwich, which captures the diversity and creativity of the children in the Diverse Care family.

Diverse Care’s ‘Responsible Person’ Keith Gorman said: “The installation comprises 580 individually hand-painted panels, produced by over 200 children and their families in our care, and fixed to a 5m-tall and 6.5m-wide structure.

“We can think of no better symbol of the teamwork for our parents and children, 150 of whom will be there on a socially-distanced basis for a celebration of the work and play we all make together.”

Many children have been out of school since March – so there is likely to be a back-up in cases which teachers spot as pupils return.

But recruitment of foster parents due to the Covid-19 has also fallen. There has also been a fall in adoption rates due to concerns over cross-contamination between parents and children.

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