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Do we have the resources to support 10,000 child care applications a year?

13 April 2012

In February we highlighted that for the first time ever there had been over 900 care applications in a single month.

It’s no surprise then, that after taking into account March’s figures, the children and family court advisory and support service CAFCASS reported that Care Applications in England over the last year hit 10,000 for the first time. This represents a 10% increase on the same period in the previous financial year.

Some suggest that cutbacks in early years services have contributed to this. Inexperienced young parents aren’t given the support they need, and when their children show signs of poor parenting, Care Proceedings are issued. This is ultimately much more expensive. Many question whether it’s desirable, particularly when decent foster placements are so notoriously hard to find.

One thing is for sure; local authorities and CAFCASS need to work hard to make sure these Applications are properly resourced. Otherwise they face expensive legal challenges and may be accused of doing more harm than good.

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