View Working Together 2013 View Working Together 2013

4.2 Direct Payments

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in February 2016 to clarify that Direct Payments cannot be used to pay for overnight care.


Contents

  1. What are Direct Payments?
  2. Who can get Direct Payments?
  3. How often are Direct Payments made?
  4. What is the process?
  5. Direct Payments can be spent on
  6. Direct Payments can not be spent on
  7. 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 has been identified as a need, instead of the authority providing that support through their own services i.e. 1:1 support or respite care. Direct Payments do not affect government benefits and are not counted as an income.


2. Who can get Direct Payments?

Those who have been assessed as meeting the criteria for Children and Families Services or those who have a need identified for a service from the Aiming High Short Breaks Team and are:

  • Parents of a disabled child under 18;

    OR
  • Disabled young people (16-17).


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. The frequency of payments will be determined by the need of the service user but usually they are made either monthly, or annually (up to the end of the financial year). If necessary, a one-off payment can be made for ad-hoc services.


4. What is the process?

Depending on the level of support being requested, the child and/or family's needs are first assessed by a Social Worker or a questionnaire is completed by an Inclusion and Outreach worker from the Aiming High Short Breaks Team.

The appropriate assessment/ plan/ questionnaire will be completed/updated and shared with the family and the professional will establish with the parent/carer or young person whether they are capable or willing to manage a Direct Payment. The assessing professional will then complete a referral form to the Direct Payment Service. This will need to be authorised by the appropriate budget holding manager then passed to the Direct Payment Support Advisor. The Direct Payment Support Advisor will contact the family to arrange an appropriate time to visit. During this initial visit it will be established what level of support is required and how the family are planning to use their funding. Either during this first visit, or future visits, set-up paperwork will be completed and the Direct Payment will be started.


5. Direct Payments can be spent on

  • Employing a support worker(s) to support the child or young person i.e. to access an activity, to give the parent/carer a break;
  • Purchasing an agency to provide direct care to meet your child/family's needs;
  • By agreement with the Team Manager for direct payments, any service which meets the assessed need for a short break.


6. Direct Payments can not be spent on

  • Any services already provided by the council e.g. specialist groups;
  • Any services that do not meet the assessed need;
  • Any service which is felt to put the child/young person at risk of harm;
  • Overnight care.


7. What are the benefits of Direct Payments?

Direct Payments allow parents and young people greater choice, flexibility and control in how their service is delivered.

End