When increases in children’s cases are required: different types of hearings

This page provides information on when increases in children’s cases are needed. It covers when increases may be needed in: an initial Children’s Hearing; at a criminal advice hearing; at an adoption advice hearing; and in relation to Child Protection Orders and related hearings. The sections set out the levels of increase generally available and the circumstances in which they may be needed.

This page gives guidance about the increases in authorised expenditure that we are likely to grant in children’s cases.

Increases for an initial Children’s Hearing

The initial limit of £95 should normally be enough to advise your client about the procedure at the hearing and to explain the Statement of Grounds and background papers. However, there may be cases where we will allow an increase to £250-£350. 

Examples include:

  • There is a lengthy, complex Statement of Grounds and background papers which may include medical reports
  • The particular child has difficulties understanding the process or reports
  • The particular relevant person has difficulties understanding the process or reports because of learning disability or physical or medical ailments; or
  • The child or relevant person cannot attend your office and you need travel costs to meet them. You will have to put forward good reasons for travelling such as the relevant person being in hospital or the child being in a secure unit for us to consider this.

Increases for a criminal advice hearing

Where the sheriff who is dealing with a child in an adult criminal court (JP court, sheriff court or High Court) asks for the advice of a children’s hearing on how a matter should be disposed of, the child will probably already have a grant of criminal legal aid or be receiving ABWOR.  Separate children’s advice and assistance may not therefore be necessary to advise them about the children’s hearing.

If they want you to represent them at the children’s remit hearing itself you need to admit the child to children’s advice and assistance and apply for ABWOR for this.

If the relevant person has been cited or invited to attend the criminal advice hearing, the initial limit of £95 is usually enough to advise them before the advice hearing takes place. You can also apply for ABWOR if they want you to represent them at this hearing.

Increases for an adoption advice hearing

The initial limit of £95 is usually sufficient for you to advise your client of procedure and consider the background papers or reports before the advice hearing takes place.

If the child or relevant person wants you to represent them at the adoption advice hearing you need to apply for ABWOR and an increase for this purpose.

Increases in relation to Child Protection Orders and related hearings

The initial limit of £95 is usually sufficient to advise your client of procedure and consider background papers or reports before the second working day hearing takes place.

We will normally allow an increase of £250 to:

  • Advise your client on the procedure if the Child Protection Order is continued to the eighth working day hearing
  • Consider the Statement of Grounds and any background papers or reports, where ABWOR is not available

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