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Care applications rise slightly since July but down year on year

Care applications have increased since last month, according to official statistics.

Cafcass has revealed that there were 1,241 applications made in August compared to 1,238 in July 2017.

However, this figure represents a 1.5% decrease compared with those received in August 2016 when 1,260 care applications were made.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, Cafcass received a total of 14,594 applications, which was 14% higher than the previous financial year.

The number of care applications has risen over the last few years from 10,620 in 2013-2014 to 14,594 last year. There have been 6,041 care applications made since April in 2017.

Cafcass and the Association of Directors of Children’s Services launched guidance in the climate of rising care applications to encourage social workers and guardians to work together.

However the guidance was withdrawn last month after Nagalro raised “grave concerns” about the process in which it was produced and its content.

“Nagalro’s over-arching concern was that the agreement and draft guidance fettered the primary statutory functions of the Children’s Guardian to such an extent that it would prevent them exercising their proper statutory functions as set out in s41 and 42 CA1989, the Family Proceedings Rules 2010 and Practice 16A Representation of Children,” said a statement from Ann Haigh and Judith Timms on behalf of Nagalro Council.

A statement from Cafcass and the ADCS said: “The document was never intended to undermine the independence of children’s guardians, nor was it intended to shut out parents or their representatives from due process within proceedings.

“Due to concerns raised by some stakeholders we took the decision to withdraw the document in question,” the statement concluded.

 

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