If a child or young adult with disabilities has had an assessment from social care and is eligible for support, rather than being allocated services from us, you can choose the services you feel will best meet agreed outcomes, needs and your circumstances through the allocation of a personal budget.
A personal budget is an amount of money that we believe will meet the agreed social care outcomes and needs. It can be a Direct Payment or services. Direct Payment gives you more flexibility and choice to arrange and purchase services in the way that best suits you.
Receiving a Direct Payment
If you choose a Direct Payment you will be allocated a sum of money based on the agreed outcomes. This can be used to buy services that meet the needs and agreed outcomes set out in the care/support plan. For children the money will be paid to the parent or carer and for those over 18 it will paid to the person themselves, or to someone else who will manage it on their behalf.
A Direct Payment can only be spent on things that meet the outcomes agreed in the support plan. You will need to provide information to us to show what you have spent the money on and keep track of how much you have spent, for example receipts, bank statements. To help you manage your Direct Payment we provide free access to information, support and advice from Purple who are commissioned by us to support direct payments.
We produce 'self directed support guide' on our short breaks page, detailing our short break services or those we commission and the costs, so you can see how your personal budget can be used.
Employing a personal assistant
If you decide to employ a personal assistant (PA) to provide support you may become an employer and as such need to be aware of tax, National Insurance and insurance. Purple and other organisations offer payroll and supported accounts meaning that you can choose to take as much or as little responsibility to suit you (there is a charge for this service). There is training available for personal assistants from our community support service and the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) provides safeguarding training.
Receiving a commissioned service
If you decide not to receive a Direct Payment and would prefer to receive a service from us, you may be referred to our Community Support Service. They support children and young people who have moderate to severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and complex health needs.
There are certain things that you can and cannot buy with a Direct Payment. Our booklet, Direct Payments - Frequently Asked Questions, will give you a quick and easy understanding of what your Direct Payment can be used for.
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