A combination of the lockdown meaning families are being forced to spend all their time together, increased drinking by some parents and big financial concerns is toxic, judicial sources have said, contributing to a sharp rise in the number of urgent care proceedings in family courts.
According to the Guardian, some courts have seen a fivefold increase in cases in the last couple of weeks, with courts now having to operate remotely on Skype or over the phone – which presents challenges when there are children involved.
Unicef recently published new guidance regarding the protection of children during the lockdown, warning that children are now at an elevated risk of neglect, abuse, exploitation and violence.
A spokesperson from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service said: “Cases involving vulnerable children will always be prioritised and we are using technology to maintain access to justice as far as possible.This is kept under constant review and judges and courts will continue to work with all in the family justice system to respond to any increases in demand.”
The NSPCC also warned people to be alert to any children who may seem withdrawn or aggressive, as well as very young children left outdoors or alone by themselves.
And the National Association for Children of Alcoholics has also just revealed that it is experiencing a surge in calls from young people in toxic and abusive households at the moment, Sky News reports.
Ambassador Josh Connolly explained that the charity has seen what is known as the “Christmas phenomenon”, which is when calls fall in the leadup to the holidays and then increase sharply.
If you’re looking for family solicitors in Surrey, get in touch with the Gumersalls team today.