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Quarter Three Care Statistics Released
Cafcass, the organisation that represents children's interests in the family courts, today releases the figures for care applications received during the period October to December 2009.
Compared to quarter 3 last year (2008-9), care demand is up 20.9% (378 cases). This suggests that the rate of increase is stabilizing at the new higher level following the publicity surrounding the court case into the death of Baby Peter in November 2008. However, November 2009 saw 753 care applications – this was the third highest monthly figure since Cafcass records began in 2005.
Care demand in the nine months April to December 2009 is 46.1% higher than the same period in 2008, 37.6% higher than the same period in 2007, 25.9% higher than the same period in 2006 and 31.2% higher than the same period in 2005.
Anthony Douglas, CBE, Cafcass’ Chief Executive commented, "It is now universally acknowledged that the record increases in care demand have placed massive pressure on all agencies working in the child protection system. Initially we struggled to manage this sudden rise in our total caseload but, as a result of the Presidents Interim Guidance and our revised Operating Priorities, we have managed to reduce our unallocated care case numbers from 986 cases at the end of August to 497 cases as at 11th January 2010. We have achieved this through sheer hard work and, in a number of areas, new duty advice schemes.”
In order to find out what sort of cases were being submitted to court as part of this rise in applications Cafcass has conducted a small scale study. This project focused on care applications made in the three weeks after 11th November 2008, following the initial publicity surrounding the trial of those responsible for Baby Peter’s death. The research found that in the vast majority (98%) of cases referred to in survey responses, Cafcass staff believed that the cases allocated to them were either appropriately timed, or should have been brought to court by the local authority earlier than they were. The study concluded that although the increase in care applications could be attributed to the ‘Baby Peter effect’, local authorities had taken the appropriate action in making these applications.
Click here for the full press release
Click here to view the statistics graph
Click here for the Summary research report
Click here for Full research report.
Previously released statistics:
Click here for Q2 statistics that covers the period from July - August 2009 - 2010
Click here for Q1 statistics that covers the period from April to June 2009 - 2010
Click here for comment on the topic from November 2008.
For more information or an interview with Chief Executive Anthony Douglas CBE please contact Head of Communications, Takki Sulaiman on 07778 419218.