Putting children and young people first in the family courts

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Anthony Douglas addresses rising demand at National Children and Adult Services Conference

Cafcass Chief Executive Anthony Douglas spoke today at the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Bournemouth. He addresses the rising number of children in care and encouraged efforts to recruit new social work staff and carers.

Anthony said: "The care system has to gear up for higher numbers. This needs new investment, new ideas and most of all the next generation of staff and carers to be recruited, motivated and supported."

Anthony has also written an article for The Guardian in which he gives five recommendations for ensuring a safe and effective sector for the future.

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Anthony explained how Cafcass has adapted its practice to meet the requirements of the Children and Social Work Act 2017, which comes into effect on 31st October this year.

The speech also focused on how Cafcass uses the data it collects in its work to prepare for local demand variation and to help ensure a safe and effective care system ready to meet future demand.

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Anthony spoke about recent research by Lancaster University which used Cafcass data to assess families subject to recurrent proceedings and efforts to help them.

Anthony described a child's journey through the family justice system and experiences of our Family Justice Young People's Board to show how Cafcass keeps children at the heart of all its public law work.

Anthony said: "Our duty, put simply, is to help children recover from abuse or neglect and the trauma that goes with it. There are no excuses for not getting that right."

The National Children and Adult Services Conference is organised by the Local Government Association.

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