The percentage of care or supervision cases to be disposed of within 26 weeks has reached its lowest level since 2012, government data has revealed.
Fewer than one in four cases (22%) were disposed of within the statutory target introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014, according to the Ministry of Justice’s Family Court Statistics Quarterly: April to June 2021.
This was down 11 percentage points compared to the same period in 2020, although the latter was the first quarterly period to be affected fully by the pandemic.
The latest statistics quarterly also revealed that the average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 44 weeks in April to June 2021, up 8 weeks from the same quarter in 2020.
The data for April to June 2021 showed that 6,357 new cases were started in Family courts, up 14% on the same quarter in 2020. This was due to increases in most case types: financial remedy (76%), private law (11%), adoption (11%) and matrimonial (7%) cases. However, there was a decrease in public law (7%) and domestic violence (4%) case starts.
There were 1,060 adoption applications in the latest quarter, up 27% on the equivalent quarter in 2020. Similarly, the number of adoption orders issued increased by 96% to 1,156 (from a record low base at the start of the covid-19 UK lockdown period).