Personal budgets provide an opportunity for control and choice over the support and care needs of a child or young person. Instead of being provided with services, a budget is identified to meet assessed needs. However the most important aspect of the personalised approach to meeting needs is the working together, families, young people and practitioners plan how to use the budget to meet these needs.

Depending on individual needs, a personal budget may be provided to support with:

Education / learning needs– an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan) should be clear about the amount of money to be spent to meet a child/young person’s needs. As part of this, the amount of money that can be made available as a personal budget could be identified and you will be able to decide whether to request a personal budget. 

Personal transport budgets for travel to school or college  for eligible children and young people.  Please visit the Personal Transport Budget page for information.   

Social care – children and young people with disabilities who are supported by Disabled Children’s Social Care, may be offered a personal budget where a child needs additional and individual support at home, break from caring or the opportunity to have the same experiences as other families. 

Health – a personal health budget may be available for those with complex, long-term and /or life limiting condition.

Managing a personal budget

There are three ways you can use your personal budget. You can have:

  • direct payments made into an account and you buy and manage services yourself
  • an arrangement with your local authority or school where they hold the money for you but you still decide how to spend it (sometimes called ‘notional arrangements’) 
  • third-party arrangements - you choose someone else to manage the money for you

You can have a combination of all three options.

Further information

KIDS, the disabled children's charity, have produced a range of resources on the SEND reforms.