Care applications hit an all-time high for the second month in a row in July.
Figures released today by Cafcass show that it received 1,111 new care applications in July, the highest monthly figure ever recorded. This tops the previous record of 1,104 applications that were made in June this year.
The figure is also 9% higher than 1,021 care applications made in July 2014. The latest rise has contributed to a 14.3% increase in care applications made between April and July 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.
Despite the rising demand Christine Banim, national service director at Cafcass, said the organisation has still been able to ensure most children have their children’s guardian appointed within a day.
“We continue to monitor demand levels and factor any trends into our forecasting,” she said. “This insight is also shared with departments and others in the care sector to help plan for a safe level of future services. This is particularly significant given the current Spending Review.”
However, she noted that if the volume of care applications continues to rise it could affect efforts to meet the 26-week target for care proceedings.
“The current national performance for meeting the 26-week care duration target is still heading in the right direction, however it follows that increased demand will put increased pressure on local authorities and courts,” she said.
“We are doing all we can to take measures to prevent delays creeping in, but if rates continue to increase all those in the sector will need to reassess and adjust working models, as we did most recently with the revised Public Law Outline, to ensure children receive a swift service.”
The number of monthly care applications has now been higher than the year before in every month since July 2014.