Personalised budgets, including direct payments, are available to children and young people who have more complex needs and have had an assessment to help meet their needs. Personalised budgets, including direct payments, are a way to give families more control over the services they access. Children's Services allocate a sum of money (a budget) to be used to meet those needs. This budget will become personalised to that child.
Decisions regarding personal budgets and direct payments are made via the Resource Allocation Panel (RAP) and are based on assessed need either because of a child and family assessment undertaken by a social worker or an early help assessment undertaken by a lead professional. The assessing professional will present their recommendation to the RAP for approval.
Knowing how much their budget is and being able to make decisions about how it is spent will give young people and their families more control over the services they receive. This figure is not means-tested and is based upon assessed need.
Families with high level needs may choose to receive their personalised budget as a direct payment which can pay for services or support to best meet the needs of their child. These needs (or outcomes) should be identified in a social work child and family assessment or an early help assessment undertaken by a lead professional. They will also form part of an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) if the child has one.