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Family court statistics

Jenny Coles, Chair of the ADCS Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee, said:

“Local authorities and the courts have made some good progress in improving the timeliness of care proceedings down from an average of 50 weeks in 2011 to 26 weeks in 2016. One of the ways local authorities have done this is by revising our approaches to pre-proceedings but there are several reasons why average times are now lengthening. The volume of cases we are dealing with is increasing as is the complexity. Delays can also be due to differences in courts or assessments for family members identified part way through proceedings. The Public Law Outline has delivered some benefits in terms of reducing unnecessary drift and delay for children and families, however, we are clear that this can never be at the detriment of children. Social workers must be given the time and space to conduct comprehensive and robust assessments to ensure we are meeting the individual needs of the child even if this falls outside of the 26 week time limit.”


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