Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

CAFCASS: Care applications hit record high

The number of applications for children to be taken into the care system in England has hit an all-time high.

Figures published today show that in February a total of 1,225 care applications were made – the highest-ever figure recorded by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

It represents an increase of 9.4 per cent, or 105 applications, on the previous record of 1,120 recorded in July 2015.

February’s total also makes 2015/16 a record year for care applications. With March still to go, the total number of care applications for the first 11 months of 2015/16 now stands at 11,513. The previous high of 11,517 was recorded for the full 12-month period of 2014/15.

The increase in the number of care applications comes as the actual number of children in care continues to rise.

Figures published by the Department for Education in October show that, across all councils in England, the number of children in care rose from 68,800 in March 2014 to 69,540 in March 2015.

Dave Hill, vice president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said local authorities are committed to protecting vulnerable children and young people from harm, but added that ongoing financial pressure is making this increasingly difficult for services.

“These figures show an increase in the numbers of care applications being made for children and young people with the highest level of need, this is something we are committed to doing when necessary even in the most challenging circumstances, with more children in need of help and support and less and less resources to do so.

“To date there has been some [financial] protection around core services at the expense of vital early intervention and prevention services such as youth work and children’s centres but now in many places core services are at risk.

“This is a matter of serious concern for directors of children’s services and the sector as a whole. Government must recognise that demand for children’s services must be better understood and adequately funded so that children, young people and their families can lead happy and successful lives.”

It has previously been claimed that rising levels of poverty in the UK and the impact of the refugee crisis are likely to be factors behind the rising number of care applications.

Natasha Finlayson, chief executive of The Who Cares? Trust, said the care system is already under strain and is struggling to cope with ongoing increases in demand.

Story courtesy of CYP Now

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Fears raised over impartiality of Ofsted safeguarding review in schools


Concerns have been raised about the impartiality of Ofsted’s review into safeguarding in schools and colleges.

The government asked Ofsted to review safeguarding policies in schools and colleges after thousands of children and young people posted anonymously on the Everyone’s Invited website about sexual abuse in schools – including some posts from children as young [...]

Read Full Story

How social workers became the 5th emergency service during lockdown


Interview with our experienced and highly respected Independent Social Worker Mary Cullen on social workers going above and beyond for vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic

ISW Mary Cullen

Social workers have shown immense resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and had little choice but to place any health anxieties to one side, don their protective [...]

Read Full Story

Referrals to children’s services down by 11% but case complexity rises


The number of referrals to children’s services at March 2021 was 11% lower than in previous years, according to official statistics from the Department for Education.

The ‘Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey Summary of returns Waves 1 to 22’ report published by the Department for Education reveals that in Wave 22 - between 8 and [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram