11 Dec 2012
Social workers are referring record numbers of children into care, with 2012 seeing the highest number of applications to date.
The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has released its latest care statistics revealing that the rise shows no sign of stopping.
In November 2012, Cafcass received a total of 947 applications - a 7.7% increase on November 2011 levels. From the start of the financial year the level is 8.3% higher when compared to the same period last year.
Applications received during all months this financial year have been the highest ever recorded by Cafcass for these individual months. The only exception was in June 2012 where referrals were thought to be lower due to the lack of working days available due to the special bank holidays this year.
Speaking to Community Care, Cafcass' chief executive Anthony Douglas predicted the rises will continue throughout 2013:
"This means we will have to work in a smarter way to secure good outcomes for the children concerned, and must continue to clarify the professional task for staff so this demand remains manageable.”
“It won’t be easy, but all organisations in the sector are fantastically committed to getting this right. In the family courts, we are challenging our own culture of delay and substituting a culture of urgency, which is starting to have an impact. This is one of many changes we will need to make as we gear up to a higher care population."http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/news/2012/november_care_application_statistics_released.aspx#.UMcZNncbuM-