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Care applications received by Cafcass in March 2018 down by 4%

Annual total of care applications falls slightly

In March 2018, Cafcass received a total of 1,238 care applications. This figure represents a 3.5 per cent increase in comparison with February 2018 and is the second highest monthly total for a March on record. The highest March figure was in 2017 when there were 1,298 cases (so that this month's figure represents a year-on-year decline of 4.6 per cent).

In the last year there have been 14,207 care applications. This compares with 14,599 in the previous twelve months.

Responding to the latest Cafcass care demand statistics Alison Michalska, Association of Directors of Children's Services Immediate Past President, said:

"These statistics show a 2.7% decrease in the number of care applications made to courts in 2017/18, compared to the previous financial year. Although these figures represent the first annual drop in care applications in recent years there is no way of knowing whether this will form a future trend or is simply a dip in the annual statistics. Local authorities continue to work intensively with children on the edge of care and families in crisis so that children can remain with their families where appropriate whilst remaining committed to seeking court intervention to keep children with the highest level of evidential need safe from harm where absolutely necessary. More work is needed to understand and address current and future demand for children's services across the board. ADCS continues to highlight the need for a sufficiently funded and resourced children's services, enabling us to work with families at the earliest opportunity to prevent their problems from escalating to crisis point."

For the month-by-month figures, click here.

12/4/18 (supplemented by comment from ADCS: 13/4/18)