December was another record breaking month for care applications, figures from the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have shown.
There were 1,092 care applications in December, a 17% increase on the same period last year, and the highest ever demand for that month.
It represents the fifth time in 2015-16 care applications have gone over 1,000 in a month, and the third month in a row that this has happened.
Before the current financial year, care applications had only surpassed 1,000 in a month three times.
It means the number of care applications for one year looks set to be over 12,000 for the first time.
Community Care reported last year that, following guidance for social workers on section 20 arrangements, there were split opinions about whether there could be a spike in care applications as authorities looked to strengthen the provisions they have in place.