What is a Personal Budget?
A personal budget is a combination of all available resources including community, family and benefits. The total package is made clear to parent carers and those who support young people so they can make the best choices and choose the right services which will best meet the outcomes identified in the child or young persons care plan.
Personal budgets can be made up in the following different ways,
- Notional budget. No money changes hands. Parent carers find out how much money is available and with support identify the different ways to spend that money meeting the outcomes of the child’s care plan. The services are then arranged on the family’s behalf.
- Budget held by a third party. A different organisation or trust holds the money and helps parent carers to decide the best way to spend the funding, they then buy the services chosen.
- Direct payment. Parent carers are given the cash to buy and manage the services themselves to meet the outcomes identified in the child’s care plan.
- Family Expenditure. In addition to the funding idenitifed through the assessment process, parent carers use a reasonable amount of their usual resources to help meet the outcomes identified in their child’s care plan, for example extended family support or the use of community resources e.g. libraries
As a pathfinder, Devon will be testing personal budgets for health, education and social care, including direct payments.
Personal budgets for Health
A personal health budget will make it clear to parents and carers how much money is available for the healthcare needs of their child or young person. They can then discuss and agree the best way it can be spent, to meet the outcomes in the child’s care plan. This funding will not be able to pay for care normally received from a family doctor or emergency care.
As a ‘Pathfinder’, Devon has requested to be part of the Personal Health Budgets pilot which includes Direct payments for health care.
For more information, please read ‘Understanding Personal Health Budgets’
Personal budgets for Education
A new clause has been inserted into the Education Act 2011 to allow ‘Pathfinder’ authorities to test the use of direct payments for meeting special educational needs.
The SEN Direct Payments Pilot Scheme will allow parent carers, if they choose, to receive all or part of the provision set out in Part 3 of a Statement as a direct payment, subject to the agreement of the headteacher or priniciple of the education setting.
Personal Budgets for Social Care
Currently children and young people with additional needs in Devon, who are eligible, receive a personal budget for their short breaks services through the ‘Short Break Local Offer’ or the Fair Access to Short Breaks Allocation System.