Wales leads the way in reducing care case times

children in care

The majority of care cases in Welsh courts are now completed within the 26 week timetable introduced by the Children and Families Act.

The average timeframe for care cases in Welsh courts dropped to 24.9 weeks, Cafcass Cymru reports in its newly published annual report. In 2012 the average completion time was close to 57 weeks. With 76.7 per cent of cases in Wales now completed within 26 weeks, or six and a half months – the Welsh family courts have shown greater improvements than anywhere in England.

The 26 week timetable was introduced to minimise delay and reduce emotional harm to children caught up in the family care system.

Cafcass Cymru worked with a total of 7,430 children over the last year, and 82 per cent of those were aged ten or under.

Gillian Baranski, the Chief Executive of Cafcass Cymru, said the new figures represented a “significant milestone”.

Speedier completion of cases had:

“…brought earlier certainty to many vulnerable children and young people regarding their future. This achievement is a testament to the strength of partnership arrangements which exist across Wales. No one organisation in isolation could have delivered these changes.”

Read the Cafcass Cymru annual report here.

Photo of Cardiff Bay by Cardiff Harbour Authority via Wikipedia

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Paul Apreds - December 22, 2015 at 2:26pm

Cafcass Cymru may well have contributed to cases being disposed of at faster speed, however figures shared by HMCTS at the Cafcass Cymru Advisory Committee a few weeks Ag might shed light on how this has been achieved. Currently more than 30% of s31 care applications are bring heard by magistrates in Wales. Given the enormous weight given to public Law proceedings by the President in Re J 2013 we seriously question whether it is tenable that magistrates in Wales should hear any s31 cases let alone more than 30% of them.

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