Coronavirus: Foster Care Placement crisis

Diverse Care, a leading independent foster parenting agency, is delighted to announce the appointment of Prenetics (under its Project Screen by Circle Programme), the digital health and testing company, as its sole supplier of testing and certification of foster parents and children across the over 120 families it serves.  Diverse Care ranks in the top 3% of foster agencies consistently ranking as ‘Outstanding’ (the top Ofsted category).

There are some 80,000 in care, and the fostering sector provides support to some 57,600 children, costing some £5.5 billion a year, on some industry estimates.  20,000 children are placed with independent fostering organisations like Diverse Care.

Keith Gorman, Director and Responsible Individual of the Hazel Project, which represents two fostering companies Diverse Care and Xcel2000 said

“The sector is facing a crisis in September in that there will be a severe shortage of foster placements available to meet the massive influx of children expected. Most of our foster parents are full or ‘over-full’ – due to welcoming extra children in during the virus. We have been unable to recruit new families due to the restrictions of lockdown. The influx of children is due to children suffering during lockdown essentially in silence without intervention from Local Authority Social Workers – who have not been conducting visits. These children will be seen by their teachers for the first time in months when schools reopen – and any children who have visibly deteriorated during lockdown will be referred to their Local Authorities. It is anticipated that as many as 8,000 new children could be taken into Local Authority care in September.”

Avi Lasarow, CEO of Prenetics UK, said

“We are delighted to be rolling out our services on a subsidised basis to this invaluable sector to the fabric of family life in our country.  We look forward to supporting Diversecare in safeguarding both foster parents and children.  This fits with our strategy of broadening our mission, from elite sports, to getting the UK back to work and play.”

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