The number of care applications reached a record level in January 2012, with 903 applications to take children into care - the highest since Cafcass was set up in 2001.
Between April 2011 and January 2012, Cafcass received 8,403 new applications. This figure is 12.4% higher when compared to the same period last financial year. Applications received between May 2011 to January 2012 this year have been the highest ever recorded by Cafcass for these individual months.
Anthony Douglas, Chief Executive of Cafcass said:"Agencies are working more quickly to ensure that children are removed from deeply damaging households where many have been for some time and are showing a lower tolerance for poor parenting. What we are seeing is an elimination of drift in neglect cases and a greater recognition of the appalling impact of neglect can have on children. Nearly every child involved needs love, care and therapy, either back home or elsewhere.
"All agencies need to factor in these much larger increases into their planning systems, resource allocations, workforce development strategies and service contracts, so that the most vulnerable children in the country continue to receive strong public services. The profile of children coming into the care system unwavering: an unquestionable need for care for the vast majority, and the urgent need to be given their normal childhood back and to be allowed to develop in a loving and supportive family environment."