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Children: Protection

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many special Children Act applications were issued by (a) Cambridgeshire county council, (b) Cumbria county council, (c) Kent county council and (d) Medway council in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08; (204719)

(2) how many special Children Act applications were issued by each local authority in Berkshire in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08.

The current information systems used in the family courts do not require the applicant type to be recorded specifically. Consequently to extract this information would require a manual trawl of case files and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The most reliable data on public law Children Act applications, particularly at local level, relate to orders made rather than applications issued. The numbers of care and supervision orders made in the family courts in Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, Kent (including Medway) and Berkshire in the requested years are therefore provided in the following table.

National figures for 2006 suggest that between 70 per cent. and 75 per cent. of applications for care or supervision result in either a care order or a supervision order being made. Many of the remaining applications are likely to result in an order of a different type (e.g. ‘Section 8’ orders for residence or contact).

The data are compiled based on the location of the order-making court, rather than the local authority making the application, as data on the applicant's identity are not held centrally for all cases. These figures may therefore count orders obtained by other applicants besides the local authorities specified in the question.

Children Act 1989: Care and supervision orders made in the family courts in specific areas

FY 2005-06

FY 2006-07

FY 2007-08

Court/area

CHC

FPC

CHC

FPC

CHC

FPC

Cambridge

34

20

31

Peterborough

58

87

101

Cambridgeshire

92

18

107

16

132

26

Carlisle

27

39

26

Cumbria

27

11

39

24

26

29

Canterbury

80

79

58

Medway

80

81

110

Kent

160

97

160

95

168

75

Milton Keynes

46

59

66

Oxford

46

48

62

Reading

78

77

116

Thames Valley

170

70

184

100

244

91

Notes:

1. CHC = County and High Court; FPC = Family proceedings court.

2. CHC data are collected at court level and do not necessarily reflect counties and their boundaries.

3. FPC data are not available at court level.

4. FPC data for Berkshire are not available as standalone figures. Figures displayed are for Thames Valley.

5. FPC orders made are recorded per child while CHC orders are recorded per order.