Direct Payments are 'cash' payments for young people and their families who have been assessed as being eligible for support from social care, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services instead of receiving them directly from the local council. Personal Budgets allow families to have greater control over their services.
Direct Payments aim to empower children, young people and their families by increasing choice, independence and control over the way that social care support is delivered.
Direct Payments can be used in innovative ways in order to meet assessed needs. This could mean things such as employing your own personal assistants, arranging support with holidays, accessing activities. By having your support paid in cash a direct payment provides increased flexibility, allowing families to choose when support is provided to them and by who this support is provided. We appreciate taking on responsibility can be a daunting process therefore you can access support at any point. For example, helping with paying employees or helping with recruiting employees.
Disabled children and young people aged 0 to 19 years old, whose needs are complex and require support in excess of the core offer. For children and young people eligible to receive a social care service a direct payment may be made to:
- Those with parental responsibility for disabled children/young people
- Over 16 year old disabled young people
- Carers aged 16 and 17 in place of carer's services
- An appointed suitable person
An personal budget is money or services from the council and sometimes from other agencies i.e. Health. It gives the child/young person and their parent/carer greater control and choice of what services are best for them.
The budget can be received in a number of ways: through a direct payment either to the young person (if they are over 16), parent or representative or a 3rd party; through an Individual Service Fund where a service provider holds the funds; or as a "virtual" budget if a young person wants to access services provided by the local authority. The budget can be received in a combination of ways tailored to suit the young person and their family.
The budget can be used in innovative and new ways, provided it is legal and does not impact on the individuals health, safety or wellbeing and meets the outcomes in the support plan.
How are Personal Budgets Accessed?
The young person will need to go through the standard Direct Payment assessment process but they can then choose to receive an Personal Budget.
Each child or young person will have a support plan that clearly shows the outcomes that they want to achieve and how the money or services that they have will help them to do this. The support plan will contain the following:
- Information about the young person
- Their outcomes and how they will be supported to achieve these
- Their budget and how it will be managed an action plan of what is going to be done, when and by whom
For more information contact the Disabled Children's Team or firstname.lastname@example.org after an initial and core assessment have been completed.
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