Click here to view the Direct Payment Flow Chart
This chapter was updated in March 2015, a revised version of the Direct Payments Flow Chart was added (see above) and a link to an example Direct Payments Contract was added into Section 4, What is the process?
- What are Direct Payments?
- Who can get Direct Payments?
- How often are Direct Payments made?
- What is the process?
- Direct Payments can be spent on employing a Personal Assistant (PA)
- Direct Payments can also be spent on
- Direct Payments can not be spent on
- What are the benefits of Direct Payments?
1. What are Direct Payments?
A Direct Payment is money given to parents/carers or young people, by the authority, to enable them to buy in support that is assessed as being needed, instead of the authority providing that support through their own services i.e. residential care or outreach services. Direct Payments do not affect benefits.
2. Who can get Direct Payments?
Those who have been assessed as meeting the criteria for disabled children's services and are:-
- Parents of a disabled child under 18;
- Disabled young people (16-18).
3. How often are Direct Payments made?
Direct Payments are paid in advance into a bank or building society account specifically set up for this purpose, as a one off payment or on a weekly basis. If the direct payment is assessed as being needed at key times e.g. school holidays, then payment will be made accordingly.
4. What is the process?
- The child and/or family's needs are first assessed by a Social Worker from the Disabled Children's social work team;
- As well as completing a Single Assessment, they will also make an assessment as to whether the parent/carer or young person is willing and able to administer direct payments, with appropriate support being provided;
- The Social Worker will then present a request to a Team Manager and Head of Service who will decide whether Direct Payments are the most appropriate option to meet the need and how the funds should be allocated;
- Once agreed, the allocated Social Worker will contact you to explain how the scheme works and draw up a contract (click here to see an example contract) with you, discuss any PA recruitment needs and initiate your direct payments with the finance team;
- The allocated social worker will then visit to explain in detail your responsibilities as an employer and will continue to give on-going support and advice as required.
5. Direct Payments can be spent on employing a Personal Assistant (PA)
- To take the young person/child into the community to access an activity, support inclusion, going to a club etc;
- To work with the child directly within the home, to give parents and siblings a break;
- To stay overnight to give respite to parents;
- Or a registered childminder or child home carer (for children aged under 8).
6. Direct Payments can also be spent On
- Using an approved agency to provide direct care to meet your child/family's needs;
- After school clubs and holiday play schemes for your disabled child;
- Residential overnight breaks for your disabled child;
- By agreement with the Team Manager for direct payments, any service which meets your assessed need for a short break.
7. Direct Payments can not be Spent On
- Employing someone without DBS and CPR checks or references;
- Any services already provided by the council e.g. Residential or Outreach support services.
8. What are the benefits of Direct Payments?
Direct Payments allow parents and young people greater choice flexibility and control, to employ their own workers at times convenient to them and in the way they wish, to provide an individual service to meet their needs.