Full-year figures from Cafcass have confirmed that care applications rose by 43% in 2009, compared with 2008, while private law cases increased by 18%.
The figures confirm the trend of previously released quarterly figures which showed care applications are stabilising at nearly double the level of previous years. This led the Local Government Association to claim the current system cannot cope and that a national debate was needed about how the care system should be organised.
In 2009 Cafcass received 8,542 public law cases compared with 5,972 public law cases in 2008. Last year, Cafcass received 43,697 private law cases compared with 37,052 in 2008.
Cafcass has also released figures showing that at the end of January this year unallocated care cases had dropped by 44.6% since July 2009 from 877 to 486 cases. Private law cases unallocated dropped by 54.7% over the same period. The decrease is largely down to the introduction of a duty rota system.