Children’s and Civil Legal Assistance Update


Thursday, Oct 08, 2015

Selecting the correct category code

Selecting the incorrect category code can delay payment when your account is submitted. To help you, we have prepared some guidance on selecting the correct category code when admitting clients to advice and assistance.

Category CHSA

The category of CHSA covers issues involving the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011.

It should be used where the matter concerns a referral to the Children’s Reporter or where there is a realistic expectation that a Child Protection Order (CPO) will be imminently sought which will give rise to the involvement of the Reporter and the children’s hearings system.

Category CHC

The children’s category code of CHC applies to proceedings that are still continuing under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 1995, Part II, Chapters 2 and 3 only.

These parts of this Act deal again with matters that are referred to the Children’s Reporter.

Any CPO sought will now fall under the 2011 Act and the category code of CHSA should be used. Very few cases will now still be proceeding under the category code CHC, given that the 2011 Act has now been in force for over two years.

Category FAM

The civil category code of FAM should be used where there is social work involvement on a voluntary basis and where no referral to the Reporter has been made as yet and/or there is no anticipated Child Protection Order.

Categories CNT and RES

The civil category codes of CNT and RES, which attract templated increases, cannot be used for any matter that has been referred to a children’s Reporter even where contact or residence of a child or children is at issue.

These civil category codes relate to civil proceedings for S11 orders under Part I of the Children’s (Hearings) Scotland Act 1995. If you use these category codes incorrectly you will not be paid for work carried out even where a template increase has been granted.

Availability of ABWOR for non deemed Relevant Persons

We’ve noticed that we received some applications/accounts which have been incorrectly submitted because of misunderstandings over relevant person status. To help you, we have prepared some guidance on the topic.

In terms of Regulation 3A (1)(d) of the Advice and Assistance (ABWOR) (Scotland) Regulations 2003 as amended, ABWOR is only available to a non deemed relevant person where they are seeking to be deemed to be a relevant person, either at a pre hearing panel or at a children’s hearing where such a S81 relevant person determination is to be made.

If a deemed relevant person is no longer deemed to be a relevant person then ABWOR is not available to them even where a grant of ABWOR is already in place.

So, for example, if you represent a grandfather who has been deemed a relevant person at a grounds of referral hearing but is deemed not to be a relevant person at a remit from court hearing after grounds have been held to be established in court, then you can no longer provide ABWOR to represent them at that remit hearing from the point that they no longer held relevant person status.

We may ask you to clarify relevant person status at the application and/or accounts stage. If it becomes apparent that the person you are trying to provide ABWOR to is no longer deemed a relevant person then we cannot pay you for representation of that person at that or any further deferred hearing.

For more information please contact:

Ann Forbes-Partington
Assistant Manager - Civil and Children’s Legal Assistance
T: 0131 240 2072
E: forbesan@slab.org.uk

 


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