Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Spotlight thrown on care proceedings lasting longer than three years

Thirty-three care applications dating from 2010/11 have yet to be resolved, according to figures obtained by the magazine Children & Young People Now.

An additional seven cases still underway date back still further, in some cases as far back as 2007. The figures were obtained by the Children and Family Court Advisory Service (Cafcass), which works to support children involved in family court cases.

From April next year, family courts will be expected to resolve care applications and decide whether children should stay with their birth families or enter the care system within a maximum of 26 weeks (six and a half months), except in exceptional circumstances.

Cafcass said some of the older cases had “unique” features, the magazine reports, such as “inter-country features or criminal proceedings”. In addition, 16 of the 33 cases have classed as “inactive” and are likely to be closed shortly.

Andrew Webb is president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. He said

“No child should have its future hanging in the hands of the judge as opposed to parents for this length of time.”

He welcomed the forthcoming 26 week timetable.

“If cases go beyond [26 weeks] then we will have to say why and give a timeline. Judges will say we have to make a decision to give a child stability.”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy