Category Codes - Children's legal assistance

Thursday, Aug 15, 2013

In conjunction with the changes to children’s legal assistance that came into force on 24 June 2013 we have been analysing the use of subject matter categories by firms when they enter new advice and assistance cases onto the online system.

The category:

CHCI - Children (Scotland) Act 1995 – Part I, PART II Chapter 4, Part III and Part IV

in civil advice and assistance is not being used correctly.

Analysis of intimations under this category from January to June 2013 has shown that the majority of cases should have been entered as children’s advice and assistance under the category:

CHC - Children (Scotland) Act 1995 - Part II, Chapters 2 & 3

The remaining cases were found to be civil advice and assistance - but they should have used one of the specific subject matters available.  The most common examples of this were:

ADO - Adoption
CNT - Contact
DEC - Declarator
PERO - Permanency order
RES - Residence
FAM - Family/matrimonial (other)

Analysis of more recent intimations is showing that cases that should have been entered as:

CHSA - Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011

under children’s advice and assistance are also being mistakenly entered under the incorrect code in civil advice and assistance.

Selecting the incorrect category when a case is entered onto the online system can lead to unnecessary delays if increases are requested or at the payment of accounts. In addition, if firms are not registered on the children’s legal assistance register and they incorrectly use a civil advice and assistance code when a children’s advice and assistance code should have been used, then accounts may not be paid and incorrectly paid monies will be requested to be repaid.

As described above there are specific categories in children’s and civil advice and assistance that should be used instead of this category.

We are therefore planning to remove this category from the online system when we next update it in early September 2013. Please could you ensure that all your staff are aware of this change and the correct categories that they should be using.

If you would like more information about category codes please contact Catriona Whyte, Head of Legal Services (Civil) on 0131 240 2088.

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