Judges accept the recommendations set out in court welfare reports in 76 per cent of cases, according to a new study by Cafcass.
The acceptance rate rises to 90 per cent when cases requiring an additional review by the courts are included.
The study was a based on a randomly chosen selection of 170 private residence and contact cases. In 107 of these cases, or 63 per cent, report recommendations completely matched the final order, while in 20 cases (12 per cent) the reports matched the final order subject to additional review in court.
In eight cases, there was some overlap. The courts did not follow report recommendations in only five cases. Thirty cases were ruled out of the study because they had been adjourned, dismissed, withdrawn, or had no completed court report associated with them. When these were removed, the remaining studies showed 76 and 90 per cent acceptance by the courts
Richard Green is a child protection manager at Cafcass. He said: “The fact that our reports are followed in nine out of 10 cases suggests that the courts attach a high degree of merit to them.”
He added: “We have good structures in place to produce high-quality work and we are well placed to respond to the challenges ahead.”