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Care Proceedings

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many applications for care proceedings have been made since 1 November 2008; and how many were made in the equivalent period 12 months earlier. (252643)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of public law care and supervision applications under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 in November and December 2008 and November and December 2007 are given in the table. Public law cases are those brought by local authorities or an authorised person (currently only the NSPCC). Figures relate to the number of children that are subject to each application, are for England and Wales, and have been rounded to the nearest 10. Please note that 2008 figures are provisional.

Comparisons between short time periods (one or two months) as presented in the following table should be made with caution as these figures are subject to more volatility than those covering longer time periods.

Number of Public Law Care and Supervision applications under section 31 of the Children Act 1989—England and Wales; County Courts and Family Proceedings Courts

Family proceedings courts1

County courts2


November and December 2007




November and December 2008




1 There have been data quality issues with figures for Family Proceedings Courts. A new method of collection was introduced in April 2007 which has improved the coverage and completeness of data.

2 Research undertaken on behalf of Ministry of Justice has identified that some cases that have transferred from the Family Proceedings Court to the County Court have been incorrectly recorded as new applications in the County Court thus inflating the reported number of new applications through double counting (see Masson et al 2008).


HMCS FamilyMan and manual returns, as at January 2009