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'A comparatively small number of exceptional cases apart, we can and must meet the 26 week limit. We can, because various pilots and initiatives are not merely showing us that it can be done but, even more important, showing us how it can be done. We must, because if we do not, government and society will finally lose patience with us. I believe it can be done and I am determined to do everything in my power to make sure that it is. My message is clear and uncompromising: this deadline can be met, it must be met, it will be met. And remember, 26 weeks is a deadline, not a target; it is a maximum, not an average or a mean. So many cases will need to be finished in less than 26 weeks.'The average is calculated from date of application to court to date application completed as recorded in the Cafcass databases. Applications may be in relation to one child only, or many children. All average durations are presented to the nearest whole week and calculated from the total number of calendar days it takes to complete.
A handbook for all those involved in care proceedings where one or both of the parents is...