Staff shortages leading to court case delays

2,000 court cases involving children are suffering delays because of major
staff shortages within the legal system.

report by the Children and Family Court Advisory Service shows that delays to
hearings involving contact disputes are now about 18 weeks.

internal report, which was obtained by The Times newspaper, also found that
care proceedings were being delayed by up to two months.

news comes despite extensive recruitment activity by the service, which claims
it needs a further £6m to employ enough staff.

delays are being caused by a lack of skilled staff, particularly the court
guardians who look after the children’s interests.

By Ross Wigham

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