The prioritisation protocol brought in to help mitigate ‘system-wide pressures’ in the family justice system has ended across Greater Manchester.

Cafcass, which represents the interests of children and young people in the family court, introduced its prioritisation protocol during the pandemic.

The scheme is used for cases where children and families need a faster response to their case.

Cafcass said the protocol aims to mitigate system-wide pressures caused by a combination of increase demand for its services, delays in concluding proceedings and challenges in maintaining capacity.

Normal allocation processes were reinstated in Greater Manchester this month, Cafcass said. Children’s cases are no longer being allocated to Cafcass’ allocation hub, where less urgent children’s cases are ‘held’ under strict limitations on how long it can be held in the hub.

Five courts remain under prioritisation, including three court areas in London and two court areas covering Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Cafcass said: ‘Deactivation in Greater Manchester has been made possible by all partners at a local level working together to address the pressures on the family justice system.’