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Webinar: Why are more older children and young people entering care proceedings?

Over the last decade there has been a significant shift in the age range of children coming before the family court. The number of 10–17 year-olds subject to care proceedings has almost doubled, with older children now making up around a quarter of all cases.

We know that long-term neglect, instability or trauma are highly likely to affect behaviour and vulnerability to risk in adolescence. And the presence of extrafamilial harm – including criminal and sexual exploitation – has gained more attention in recent years.  

But we do not know enough about this cohort of young people and what happens to them as they enter, during and after their interactions with the family justice system, or how well equipped the system is to respond to their unique needs.

At this webinar participants will learn about a range of new Nuffield FJO research which aims to understand the reasons why older children and young people enter care proceedings. This includes new analysis of Cafcass administrative data and in-depth audits of four local authorities and of court files related to older children subject to care proceedings.

Participants will also hear examples of innovative practice which aims to better meet the needs of young people from those within the Judiciary and other parts of the family justice system, as well as from care-experienced young people themselves whose unique insights should rightly take centre stage.

There will be an opportunity to join a discussion session at the end.


  • Lisa Harker
    Director, Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
  • HHJ Carol Atkinson
    DFJ for East London
  • Jo Tunnard
    Senior Associate
    Research in Practice
  • Celia Parker
    Senior Associate
    Research in Practice
  • Shona Gallagher
    Director of Children’s Services
    South Tyneside Council

With views from Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, and a welcome by Sir James Munby, Chair of Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.