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Latest Cafcass care demand statistics

Charlotte Ramsden, Chair of the ADCS Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee, said:

“These statistics show that local authorities continue to take action to safeguard and protect children and young people in their local areas, despite facing a 50% reduction in our budgets since 2010 and significantly increased demand for our services. The cases that make it into court are, by definition, in the highest levels of evidential need and it is important that local authorities respond effectively in these situations, although the actual quality of intervention cannot be judged by the data. It is too early to tell whether we will see a reduction in the annual statistics for 2019/20, or not. What these statistics don’t show is the cases where local authorities are working intensively with children and families to safely prevent care proceedings and children being taken into care in the first place. There is lots of good practice by local authorities in this space including a refocussing of resources into edge of care services and this is evidenced in the increasing proportion of authorities with good or outstanding Ofsted judgements as well as possibly by the national reduction in care cases shown here. However, our ability to work with children and families earlier to help them become more resilient and stay together is being hampered by an estimated £3.1 billion funding gap in children’s services by 2025. Rising child poverty and increasing instances of domestic abuse and poor parental mental health in our communities is also impacting on this goal. The Treasury must recognise that investing in children is not only beneficial for them but for the country as a whole.”


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