WillisPalmer launches Remote Assessment Service

WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

Read more
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Care applications continue to fall

The number of care applications continues to fall, the latest statistics have revealed.

There were 1,021 care applications in June 2019 - a fall of 55 per cent from June 2018 when there were 1,076 applications made to Cafcass.

The 1,021 care applications also fell from the previous month in May 2019 when 1,157 were made.

Care applications peaked in July 2016 when 1,307 care applications were made. In 2016-17 there was an annual total of 14,599 care applications. This led to former president of the family division Sir James Munby issuing a warning that courts were “ill prepared” for the rise in care applications and there is no clear strategy in place to deal with the increasing number of court cases where children can potentially be separated from their parents following an application from local authorities.

“We are facing a crisis and, truth be told, we have no very clear strategy for meeting the crisis,” said Munby.

However, the number of care applications reduced in 2017-18 to 14,221 and again in 2018-19 to 13,559 in total annually.

In December 2018, the number fell to 982 in a month - a figure not seen since September 2015 when 985 care applications were made.

Charlotte Ramsden, Chair of the ADCS Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee, said: “These statistics show that local authorities continue to take action to safeguard and protect children and young people in their local areas, despite facing a 50% reduction in our budgets since 2010 and significantly increased demand for our services.

"The cases that make it into court are, by definition, in the highest levels of evidential need and it is important that local authorities respond effectively in these situations, although the actual quality of intervention cannot be judged by the data. It is too early to tell whether we will see a reduction in the annual statistics for 2019/20, or not.

"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 re-focussing 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," she concluded.

Cafcass announced in May that Jacky Tiotto will be joining Cafcass as its new chief executive in Autumn 2019 from the London Borough of Bexley, where she is currently Director of Children’s Services. Anthony Douglas was the previous chief executive and took the organisation from an Ofsted rating of inadequate in 2009 to outstanding in 2018

Knowledge & Resources

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

Referrals to children’s services rise following first lockdown

30/11/2020

More than 600 vulnerable children a day were referred to local authorities’ children’s services in the months following the first lockdown, it has emerged.

The County Councils Network reported that 630 young people a day were referred to children’s services in the months after the first lockdown, which began in March 2020, as local authorities reported [...]

Read Full Story

More court days for family cases this year despite restrictions

26/11/2020

There have been more court sitting days taking place on family cases this year than in any previous year, despite the lockdown, the president of the family courts division has said.

In his ‘View from the Chambers,’ Andrew McFarlane said this level of activity is necessary as it is not possible to conduct as many cases [...]

Read Full Story

Half of Youth Offending Services require improvement

25/11/2020

Improvements are required in more than half of the Youth Offending Services inspected this year, according to the HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Of the 16 Youth Offending Services inspected, eight required improvement while one, Cardiff, was rated inadequate.

Chief Inspector Justin Russell said: “It is disappointing that the overall quality of the youth offending services we have [...]

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