As the number of care cases continues to increase, Kevin Gibbs looks at the possible reasons and considers how the wider family justice system can respond

As the largest social work agency in England, Cafcass has both the opportunity and responsibility to collect and analyse public law demand across the country, which we publish on a monthly basis. As part of our analysis we are able to track the number of applications made in each court and by each local authority, as well as the duration of each application and the legal outcome for the child concerned.

Our figures for December 2015 show that we received a total of 1,092 care applications. This figure represents a 17 per cent increase compared to those received in December 2014
and is not out of step with the increases in demand seen each month over the rest of the year.