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Cafcass Prioritisation Protocol now in use in Midlands areas

A process to prioritise and manage high workloads has been implemented in the Cafcass areas covering Birmingham, the Black Country, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire family courts due to unsustainable pressures on the family justice system in the area.

Nationally, Cafcass is working with about 10,500 more children (6,500 more cases) than it was at the beginning of the pandemic because of the reduced capacity of the courts to hear cases during this period and the associated impact on the caseloads of Family Court Advisers. Cafcass says that unchecked, these pressures will impact on the quality of practice and decision-making about children's futures.

The protocol sets out the process for assessing which cases will be affected, how the permission of the family court will be sought to manage the work, and the arrangements for families and children to be made aware of and informed about the progress of their application.

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