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Average duration of care proceedings now 28 weeks

Disposals within 26 weeks down 6% on a year ago

On average, care proceedings are taking longer with fewer disposals within 26 weeks. The rise in the duration of care proceedings is revealed by latest statistics produced by the Ministry of Justice.

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 28 weeks in April to June 2017, maintaining the rise seen in the previous quarter. In the same period last year the average duration of care proceedings was 27 weeks. 56% of cases were disposed of within 26 weeks – down 6 percentage points over the same period for 2016. There were 5,057 new public law applications in April to June 2017, down 2% on the equivalent quarter in 2016.

63,381 new cases started in family courts in April to June 2017, was down 4% on April to June 2016, due to decreases in matrimonial matters and adoption cases (down 10% and 7% respectively).

The number of private law applications increased by 3% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2016, whilst the number of disposals decreased 4% over the same period.

The number of adoption applications and orders continued their downward trend. In April to June 2017, there were 1,269 adoption order applications, down 12% on the equivalent quarter in 2016. Similarly, over the same period the number of adoption orders issued decreased 7% to 1,389.

There has been a continued increase in applications and orders made in relation to deprivation of liberty. There were 919 applications relating to deprivation of liberty in April to June 2017, up 24% on the equivalent quarter in 2016. Deprivation of liberty orders made almost doubled between over the same period from 375 to 689.

For the statistics, click here.