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Duration of care proceedings rises to 30 weeks

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal is the highest average since early 2014

Published on 5th October 2018

The time it takes for care proceedings to be completed has increased to 30 weeks, Ministry of Justice figures show.

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 30 weeks in April to June 2018, two weeks up from the same quarter in 2017 and the highest average since early 2014.

Care and supervision proceedings should be completed within 26 weeks under the Public Law Outline.

However, Family Court Statistics Quarterly for England and Wales, in April to June 2018 showed 48% of cases were disposed of within the 26 weeks deadline – down 8 percentage points over the same period for 2017.

There were 68,141 new cases started in family courts in April to June 2018, up 7% on April to June 2017, driven by an 18% rise in matrimonial cases starting.

The figures also showed an increase in the number of domestic violence remedy applications and orders made. The number of domestic violence remedy order applications increased by 1% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2017, whilst the number of orders made increased by 4% over the same period.

The number of adoption applications and orders continued the downward trend. There were 2,750 applications under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, including placement orders during April to June 2018, a 6% decrease on the same quarter in the previous year. Total disposals also dropped 10% to 2,532 over the same period.

Ministry of Justice: Family Court Statistics Quarterly, England and Wales, April to June 2018


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