The latest Lord Chief Justice’s Report has been laid before the House of Lords.
The Report focuses on the work of the courts and on the wide range of statutory responsibilities which guide his role.
With regard to the family justice system, the Lord Chief Justice noted that a rise in applications for care and/or supervision orders in recent years has placed considerable additional demands on the courts, on Cafcass and CAFCASS CYMRU and on other parts of the Family Justice System.
To help address this, in July 2009, the then President of the Family Division, Sir Mark Potter, worked with judges, Government, HMCTS, Cafcass and CAFCASS CYMRU to reach clear arrangements in a formal agreement for cooperative working which would enable Cafcass and CAFCASS CYMRU to manage increasing demand while maintaining the focus on promoting the welfare of children.
The agreement came to an end on 30th September 2011. At this point, the President, with Cafcass and CAFCASS CYMRU, concluded that good practice was engrained and did not require further formal support.
The total number of children awaiting a resolution to their care and supervision proceedings in February 2012 was 19,025. Despite the continuing increase in applications made to the courts, this figure was broadly consistent with the preceding six months, indicating that the rate of cases decided had increased.
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