The number of care applications made to Cafcass continues to fall, official statistics have revealed.
There were 1,000 care applications made in September 2019, down from 1,095 in August 2019. The 1,000 figure is also 5.8% lower than September 2018 when there were 1,062 care applications made.
So far this financial year since April 2019, 6,608 applications have been made to Cafcass in total.
The figures peaked in 2016-17 when 14,599 applications were made in the year. In 2016, the then president of the family division Sir James Munby said: "The fact is that we are approaching a crisis for which we are ill‐prepared and where there is no clear strategy to manage the crisis."
However, in 2017-18, the annual figures dropped to 14,221 and in 208-19 fell again to 13,569.
Monthly figures fell below 1,000 in December 2018 when 958 care applications were made.
Jacky Tiotto became chief executive of Cafcass in September following Anthony Douglas's retirement. He took the organisation on an improvement journey from an Ofsted rating of ‘Inadequate’ in 2009 and one that the Public Accounts Committee said was ‘not fit for purpose’ in 2010, to an Ofsted judgement of ‘Good’ in 2014 and ‘Outstanding’ in 2018. He served at Cafcass for 15 years prior to his retirement.
Former director of children’s services at Bexley council Jacky Tiotto took over in September. This month she told Children and Young People Now that despite the reduction in care applications, Cafcass is still operating at "peak capacity".
Tiotto said: "There are definitely less care applications for children to be removed from their parents.
"But that drop is replaced by other public law proceedings."