Last updated: 06/02/2023
What are Direct Payments?
Direct Payments are a way of arranging social care services for disabled children and young people and their families. A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child is given money to pay for the service instead of the local authority arranging that service on their behalf. Some or all of your personal budget may be recieved as a direct payment.
What can Direct Payments be used for?
As a parent you can use direct payments to employ a person to support and care for your child/young person as a carer, or to support your child at a community activity, for example a youth club. Or you can use direct payments to buy a local service, for example a sitter service or after school club.
Am I eligible for Direct Payments?
A disabled child/young person will be eligible to request direct payments if he/she is eligible for a service. The local authority will decide whether a child/young person is eligible by carrying out an assessment of the needs of the child and their family.
How much would I get from Direct Payments?
When the needs of your child/young person are assessed, your needs as a parent and the needs of the whole family should be looked at as part of a single holistic assessment. If your child/young person is assessed to need a service, the amount of money that you will be given through your direct payments will be an amount that the authority estimate is reasonable in order to buy a service of an equivalent standard to that run by the local authority.
Are Direct Payments right for my family?
Direct payments may be useful for your family in the following situations:
The service you have used have never been quite flexible enough to meet the needs of your child/young person and family- direct payments may enable you to achieve that flexibility.
You and your child/young person don’t have a say in how that service is arranged- direct payments will undoubtedly lead to more direct control, but it also may entail some extra work for you.
You live in a rural area and have to travel miles for your services direct payments may enable you to avoid unnecessary travel by employing a person who lives locally to provide the service.
Independant advice and information is available through Enham Trust. Their role is to support families with all aspects of their direct payment if required - http://www.enhamtrust.org.uk.
How do I request Direct Payments?
You can request an assessment through the local authority by contacting the Contact Advice and Assessment Service on (01635) 503090 or by contacting your social worker. The local authority will then carry out their assessment and decide if your child has a need that means they are eligible for a service, and then work with you to decide if Direct Payments are the best way to meet that need.
“The local authority will decide whether a child/young person is eligible by carrying out an assessment of the needs of the child/young person and their family.”
For more information please contact the SEN/Disabled Children’s Team on 01635 503161/503165.
West Berkshire Council will actively strive to address inequalities through its planning and delivery of services. All Council members, employees and agents will work to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination and to promote equality and good relations within all sections of the community. We will treat everyone with respect, regardless of race, disability, gender, age, religion or sexual orientation.
If you require this information in a different format, such as audio tape, or in another language, please ask an English speaker to contact the SEN/Disabled Chidlren’s Team on 01635 503161/503165. who will be able to help.
Who to contact
- Contact Name
- SEN / Disabled Children's Team
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