January 2012 – Highest number of Care Order applications recorded

CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services) reported last week that in the month of January 2012 Local Authorities in the UK have made 903 applications to the court for Care Orders in relation to children who they believe to be at risk of significant harm. This is the highest number of care order applications ever to have been recorded in one month.

When the Local Authority (social services) make an application to the court for a care order in respect of a child a Children’s Guardian, who is employed by CAFCASS will be appointed to impartially represent the views, wishes and feelings of the child / children that the Local Authority are concerned about, within the court process. The role of the Children’s Guardian is incredibly important as their role is to solely consider what is in the child’s best interests before making recommendations to the court.

Anthony Douglas, the Chief Executive of CAFCASS has commented that he thinks that there has been an increase in the Local Authorities making applications to the court for Care Orders in January 2012 because “Agencies are working more quickly to ensure that children are removed from deeply damaging households where many have been for some time and are showing a lower tolerance for poor parenting”.

The number of care applications made to the court over recent years appears to be increasingly rapidly. Between April 2011 and January 2012 CAFCASS dealt with 8,403 new care applications this was a 12.4% increase compared to the amount of new care applications received by CAFCASS between April 2010 and January 2011.

Emery Johnson has a care department which consists of an Associate Solicitor, Senior Solicitor, Assistant Solicitor, Trainee Solicitor and 2 Legal Clerks. The Department are experienced in advising and representing parents where social services are involved at a pre proceedings level including, child protection case conferences as well as within court proceedings. Two of the Solicitors within the Department can also represent children through the instructions of a CAFCASS officer as they are accredited children panel solicitors. If social services are involved with your family and you require legal advice then please contact us on 0116 255 4855. We can now offer appointments from both our Leicester and Loughborough office.

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