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Average duration of care cases falls to 28.7 weeks

Nearly 60% of care proceedings disposed of within 26 weeks

The Family Court Statistics Quarterly for the period of October to December 2014 reveals that the average time for the disposal of a care or supervision application continued to drop to 28.7 weeks (down from 33.6 weeks in October to December 2013 and down from 45.4 weeks in October to December 2012). Fifty per cent of cases were disposed within 25.1 weeks. This, says the Ministry of Justice, is due to the Children and Families Act 2014, which introduced a 26 week time limit for completing these cases.

Nearly 60% of care or supervision proceedings were disposed of within 26 weeks.

The number of cases that started in family courts in England and Wales in October to December 2014 dropped 3% to 59,000 compared to the equivalent quarter of 2013. This is in line with the previous quarters of 2014 but lower than the average of 66,700 cases per quarter in 2011 to 2013. This is mainly due to falls in matrimonial and private law cases.

The number of private law disposals where both parties were represented fell by 42% in October to December 2014 compared to the same quarter the previous year. This continues the trend since the second quarter of 2013 when the implementation of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) made changes to the scope and eligibility of legal aid.

The statistical release is here.