There has been a huge rise in the number of care applications between May and June this year, figures have shown.
There were 1319 care applications made in June – a rise of 130 from 1189 in May this year and up from 1283 in June last year.
“In June 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,319 care applications. This figure represents a 2.8% increase compared with those received in June 2016,” said a statement from Cafcass.
So far this financial year, there have been fewer care applications made that in 2016. Last year between April and June, 3669 care applications were made compared to 3549 in the first three months of this financial year.
In April 2016 to March 2017, there was a massive 14,585 care applications made, compared to 12,792 the previous year.
Care applications have been rising from 10,620 in 2013-14 leading to guidance from the ADCS urging social workers and children’s guardians to work together more closely.
The guidance recognises that local authority social workers, IROs and children’s guardians are “all qualified social workers using the same knowledge-base, research framework and case law, albeit with different statutory responsibilities”.
It says: “This agreement represents a commitment to developing a collaborative approach designed to resolve disagreements between the local authority and Cafcass about the social work evidence base being relied on in decision-making.”
“In our view, two social work agencies with the same professional standards and training should be able to agree on the evidence base on which recommendations about the future of the most vulnerable children in the country will be based,” the guidance adds.
However, children’s guardian Sue Brookman told Children First: “I don’t agree with a lot of it. Of course social workers and guardians have the same background, but we have a different job. The independence of the guardian is a key factor, that we are independent and not representing a large organisation. You need that fresh set of eyes looking at everything from the child’s perspective.”