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Year-end care application figures from Cafcass show another record-breaking year

11,055 applications for the year from April 2012

In March 2013, Cafcass received a total of 925 applications. This is a 3% increase on March 2012 levels and is the highest number of applications for that single month. 

Key findings from 2012/13 are:

Cafcass says that despite the increases in care application demand, progress is being made to drive down the duration of care cases. Nationally, care case duration has dropped from 54 weeks in 2011-12 to 47 weeks in the second quarter of 2012-13. In the third quarter, the national average was down to 45 weeks, with some local areas dropping as low as 27 weeks. For more information on the ONS statistics for duration of care cases, please click here.

Commenting on the high levels of demand and reductions in court case durations, Cafcass Chief Executive Anthony Douglas said:

"Cafcass is working hard with courts, local authority services and agencies throughout the country to reduce unnecessary delays for children and young people who are going through care proceedings. While pressure continues to come from the increase in application numbers, we know from our published research* that these applications are being brought in a more timely and better prepared way than was the case in 2008, when we first witnessed a large increase following the Baby Peter case in Haringey. Work will continue over the coming year, both at national and local levels, to ensure we are working together to provide the best service possible to the children we support."

Please click here to view the page from wich you can access a spreadsheet, which in addition to the monthly national stats, has a tab displaying a breakdown of application and children numbers by local authority for each complete quarter from April 2011.