The number of care applications received in September has risen by 7% year on year, Cafcass have revealed.
The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) received 902 applications last month compared to 843 in September 2013. It is the highest number of care applications ever received in the month of September.
In the period of April to September 2014, Cafcass received 5,369 new care applications, up 1% on the same period in 2013. It remains a little short of the number of applications received in 2012-13, which were the highest number of applications in a year the service has received, which at this point had received 43 applications more.
This continued rise comes just two months after Cafcass received its highest ever number of applications for a single month period.
Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas told Community Care in August that the rise in applications had been predicted since the introduction of the revised Public Law Outline (PLO), which limits the length of care proceedings to 26 weeks.
Reacting to the latest figures, Douglas said: “Trends across the system continue to be volatile. Considering performance against the revised PLO, the impact of case law and the responses of all in the family justice system will form part of the analysis of trends in the coming months, precisely because of this sense of unpredictably.
“It’s unlikely that there will be one clear explanation but rather multiple factors for the variation in trends we are seeing, not just in care cases but in private law too.”