Cafcass publishes study into cases which return to court

Cafcass publishes study into cases which return to court
Cafcass has published a study into the background of private law Children Act cases which return to court for a second (or multiple times)
There were 40,599 private law applications made in 2016/17.  Of those cases 30 per cent were cases which had been to court before.  Usually this was just one previous case, but in just under a third of returns there had been two or more cases previously.  One child had been subject to 11 separate cases between 2005 and 2017.  The study also found that 63 per cent of cases coming back to court did so within two years of the original orders being made.
The study then looks in more detail at 100 returning cases, to ascertain the cause of the return.  Of the 100 cases:
·         39 returned to court through on-going parental conflict
·         36 arose from safeguarding concerns being raised by the parties
·         16 might be described as unavoidable, where there had been a change of circumstances, such as the death of an adult or a relocation over a significant distance
·         9 cases were driven by the child’s wishes and feelings.

A copy of the report is available at:




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