(I've linked to the housing one as that's the one I've read most closely....and I'm guessing from your online name that that's the one you'd want - but there are similar ones for debt and WB as well. And for all I know, employment etc too)
If anyone knows of anything else, I'd like to see it as we are always trying to give our advisers better guidance on this tricky issue.
Post by Patrick Torsney on Aug 3, 2009 8:35:10 GMT
I think the Improving Quality Guides are a good idea too
Here's an excerpt from the SQM Guidance which might also be useful:
F1.2 Recording and agreeing further information and confirmation in writing
General information about client care/initial costs letters
Most organisations term the letter in which they confirm all of the required information the “client care letter”. Usually it will be addressed (often marked “confidential”) to the individual client, though when acting for a minor the written confirmation will sometimes be to the guardian.
The format of the client care letter is a matter of personal choice, but there are some useful guidelines:
Always use plain language and avoid jargon.
Include substantive detail; “thank you for your instructions to act” is insufficient.
View the letter as an opportunity to clarify issues for the client. Remember that a well-written letter at this stage of the case can protect both the organisation and the client from misunderstandings and complaints later on. Also remember that errors of omission and commission are equally important.
If a client expressly requests that no correspondence be sent, a statement should be attached to the file giving full details.
You can download the SQM Standard and Guidance from this page on the LSC site if you wanted to look at it in more detail:
Ok- if you take on an emergency case and discuss only the priority debt (but it takes quite a while and involves quite a lot of work and information) and then book them in later in the week- do you lump all of the advice into one client care letter after the two appointments or do you write two individual letters? And would it need to be 7 days after the emergency appointment or 7 days after the later appointment?
On a similar note - if you see someone and you can split matters at first meeting (Child DLA Issue v ESA Appeal) - would you then need to write two separate Client Care Letters to satisfy the two files or could you do one Client Care Letter and put it into both files...
Keep separate with separate care letters as this will underline reasons for splitting the matter. Don't forget written case note justification on both cases for splitting to the criteria of separate matters. Your example is Child DLA and ESA appeal. They have to be separate matters if they involve different people IE parent child.
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Nov 20, 2010 10:25:27 GMT
We always view the client care letter as setting out the 'contract' which exists between client and provider. It sets out what's expected of them and what we will do, when a client has to provide information, we make it very clear that we are unable to constructively act until we receive it. It seems to work well and gives the client an opportunity to check that we have the basic facts rights. Where split matters are concerned, it is explained that these are the subject of different Legal Help applications, even though we may cover both in the same letter and stick a copy in each file to show they are linked. Our terms of engagement are separate and we make a good use of pre-prepared advice information leaflets which the client is asked to read. the client care letter outlines any key dates and compliance plus makes it clear who is responsible for what. It's a good fall back if any confusion arises at a later stage as we can usually show the client how it was explained in writing, although thankfully clear advice and instruction should help avoid this scenario.