Wales Care Case Delays 'Damage' Children

BBC Radio Wales' Eye on Wales programme said it found in some areas it takes more than double the 26 weeks recommended in a government review. Children's Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler said the delays damage children. The Welsh government said the delays were "unacceptable".

Figures seen by Radio Wales' Eye on Wales show that some family courts in Wales conclude proceedings to remove children from families in 21 weeks, while others take up to 60 weeks. The average duration for courts in Wales in 58 weeks, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.

Concern over the length of time taken in such cases led to the Family Justice Review, which reported back earlier this year. Mr Towler, who was on the review panel, said they found a system that was "failing to function" and losing sight of children's best interests.

"There's considerable variation in waiting times," he said. "What we really need to understand is why that's the case, and what are the outcomes for those families. "Why are some of our courts able to work within that six-month deadline comfortably, whilst others aren't?"

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