Cafcass received fewer care applications again last month.
The service’s latest figures show it received 885 applications in February, down 12% on the number received in February 2013.
This brings the total number of care applications received by Cafcass from April 2013 to February 2014 to 9,680. This compares to 10,171 applications in the same period in 2012/13.
This is the fourth month in a row where the number of care applications has been lower than than in the same month the year before.
Unless the volume of care applications this month exceeds the 937 received in March 2013, the number of annual care applications will have fallen for the first time since 2009/10.
The number of new private law cases received by Cafcass also declined in February, down from 3,932 in February 2013 to 3,493 last month. This represents a fall of 11%.