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Direct Payments service

Direct Payments in lieu of Council provided short breaks enabling parent carers to directly purchase a break or employ support staff for this purpose. Families will be assessed as needing a short break service, and be assessed as being able to manage their own service through Direct Payments to be eligible.


The Carers and Disabled Childrens Act 2000 provided Councils the duty to offer Direct Payments to parents of disabled children and disabled young people aged 16 and 17 years old, who have been assessed as being in need of services. Parents / Young People will be offered Direct Payments where it is identified within the assessment that they are assessed as needing community care services.


Your Social Worker is obliged to offer you a Direct Payment in lieu of all or part of your social care services - you are not obliged to receive support and it may be you want a payment for just some parts of your service.


In relation to the legal guidance the Council has a number of duties:

  • to assess and review the needs of the child and carers in the normal way
  • to ensure that arrangements are safe and promote the welfare of your child
  • to ensure only suitable people are employed to work with childen and young people
  • to offer you the choice of Direct Payments
  • to support parents in consideration with the child in relation to their wishes in relation to intimate care, and potential at 16 and 17 to manage their own support (all be it with parental support too!)
  • If you want more advice then your social worker can arrange for staff from the Direct Payments Service to visit you at home to explain how the Council can assist you in using the money before you decide whether this is the best option for you.


We like to think it is the best option for many people as:
  • you can decide on who you want to work with your son and daughter
  • it can give you more control too on when you want the support
  • it can mean fewer people coming into your life
  • Are there any conditions which apply ?


Like most things, yes there are:
  • The parent/ carer must agree to accept responsibility of organising their own care and the legal responsibilities of employing their own staff.
  • The parent / carer must be able to evidence clear consideration in their arrangements to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child.
  • Parents will be expected to adhere to risk assessments set out within the Child `s Care Plan.
  • The parent carer will be required to ensure CRB checks are undertaken for staff employed.
  • The parent carer will not employ staff under the age of 18 without an explicit written agreement.
  • Where parents want to employ family members arrangements will be subject to additional scrutiny to ensure the support is meeting the identified needs of the child, and over and above what family members might ordinarily be expected to do
  • A NEW Parents Guide will be published this year, which gives more detail on how you can use your payments.


We will also be arranging some information sessions for both parents who want to know more about the scheme, and for parents who might want more support.