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2012 recorded highest ever number of care referrals

NeglectedChild.jpgAs expected, the latest figures from Cafcass show the high rate of care referrals (which some have attributed to the ‘Baby P effect’) continued throughout 2012, with applications from April to December up 8% on the same period in 2011.

Between April and December last year the family courts body received 8,135 referrals, while the 984 referrals it received in May and 989 in July remain the highest ever recorded for single months. The numbers of children referred to the care system during all months last year – except June, due to its lower number of working days with all the bank holidays – were the highest ever recorded by Cafcass.

Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas has predicted the rises will continue through 2013, saying the family courts body “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,” he added, “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.” Picture credit: Rex Features

Camilla Pemberton, journalist,

About Camilla Pemberton, journalist,

Camilla Pemberton is Community Care's children's editor

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