ONE sad off-shoot of our often justified fear of paedophiles is an increasing lack of physical interaction with children.

Now, a scathing report attacks official guidelines which discourage foster parents from hugging or cuddling the children they’re bringing up. Children have also been told not to call foster parents Mum and Dad. Currently more than 50,000 children are living with temporary foster families.

This seems crazy when children need the loving normality of family life not some sterile environment. Of course we all worry about child sex abuse but surely cuddling a traumatised child may be just the right thing?