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New care applications received by Cafcass in June fell by 5 per cent

New applications down in each of the last eight months

Cafcass received a total of 1,021 new care applications in June – 5.1 per cent lower (55 applications) than in the same month last year. New care applications received by Cafcass have decreased year-on-year in each of the last eight months.

Charlotte Ramsden, Chair of the ADCS Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee, responding to the figures, said:

"What these statistics don't show is the cases where local authorities are working intensively with children and families to safely prevent care proceedings and children being taken into care in the first place. There is lots of good practice by local authorities in this space including a refocussing of resources into edge of care services and this is evidenced in the increasing proportion of authorities with good or outstanding Ofsted judgements as well as possibly by the national reduction in care cases shown here.

"However, our ability to work with children and families earlier to help them become more resilient and stay together is being hampered by an estimated £3.1 billion funding gap in children's services by 2025. Rising child poverty and increasing instances of domestic abuse and poor parental mental health in our communities is also impacting on this goal. The Treasury must recognise that investing in children is not only beneficial for them but for the country as a whole."

For the month-by-month figures, click here. From the linked page, a further link provides details of quarterly demand by local authority area.