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Care applications continue to soar with record August figure

Soaring numbers of Cafcass care applications have continued in August, Cafcass has reported. Highest ever number of applications for the month of August received in August 2016

There were 1,258 new applications received in August 2016 representing the highest ever number of applications for the month of August.

This 2016 figure of 1,258 compares to 941 new applications in August 2015, 903 in August 2014, 828 in August 2013 and 987 in 2012, demonstrating a massive rise in the number of new applications received.

Cafcass received 6,219 new care applications between April and August 2016. This is 1,160 applications or 22.9% higher than April to August 2015 and 1,735 applications or 38.7% higher than April to August 2014.

The total number of care applications per financial year (April to March) over the last few years has been: 11,110 in 2012-13, 10,620 in 2013-14, 11,159 in 2014-5 to a record high of 12,781 last financial year of 2015-16.

The monthly figure for August 2016 of 1258 was a slight drop from July’s figure of 1,305 – the highest ever number of care applications.

Sir James Munby, president of the family courts division said last month that rising care applications were “seemingly relentlessly”.

“The reasons for the increase are little understood and are currently being investigated,” said Sir Munby, “We must however plan on the basis that there will continue to be significant increases.”

While further resources were unlikely to be forthcoming, Munby said new, innovative and better ways to handle the increasing number of care applications should be sought.

Last month Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas said the surge in the number of care applications during 2015-2016 has become a “major issue” for Cafcass and he was having various discussions to try and manage the challenge “to deliver efficiencies and be part of future sector transformation, while managing a demand led service and ensuring we maintain safe standards with incoming cases”.

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