The number of care applications made in February has fallen year on year from February 2016, Cafcass statistics have shown.
There were 1,134 care applications made in February 2017, down from 1,239 care applications in February 2016 - an 8% fall. However, the statistics were an increase on January 2017 figure of 1,119.
Dave Hill, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said: “These figures show that councils are actively working to keep children and young people safe from harm despite facing significant demand and financial pressures.”
During 2013 – 2014, Cafcass received 10,620 new applications. This figure is 4% higher when compared with the previous financial year. Between April 2014 and March 2015, Cafcass received a total of 11,159 applications, an increase of 5% from the 2013-14 figure.
Between April 2015 and March 2016 there was a 15% hike in the number of care applications received from the previous year from 11,159 to 12,791 applications.
So far in 2016-2017, there have been 13,242 applications, with the month of March yet to be added to the financial year figures.
ADCS and Cafcass recently launched guidance for social workers on working together in care proceedings following the steep rise in applications.
Hill added: “Any additional pressure on an already creaking system is a cause for concern and difficult for all partners to manage, but a rise in care applications, in itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it means that more children and young people with the highest level of evidential need are being appropriately safeguarded. As the system continues to come under further strain more work needs to be done to understand and address current and future demand for children’s services across the board, so that children, young people and their families can continue to lead happy and successful lives.”