What are Personal Budgets?
Personal budgets are a fundamental part of the SEND reforms arising out of the Children and Families Act 2014 and its associated regulations. The SEND Code of Practice provides information on the requirements on local authorities with regards to personal budgets.
Underpinning these statutory regulations is a clear vision of empowerment which is aspirational for children, young people and their parents or carers to enable a greater degree of choice and control and which leads to improved outcomes. North Lincolnshire Council shares this vision and the fact that personal budgets embrace the wider personalisation agenda by enabling children and young people and their parents or carers to be active participants in a process that enables them to determine what services can best support them to achieve their goals.
North Lincolnshire Personal Budgets Policy– this policy sets out how Education, Health and Social Care will mainstream personal budgets to assist people to have real choice and control by shifting the balance of power from professionals to people who use services. We have also written a guide for parents and an easy read information booklet which you can download:
A personal budget is an amount of money identified by the Local Authority and Health, as deemed appropriate, to deliver provision set out in an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan to meet identified outcomes for a child or young person with special educational needs and /or a disability aged 0-25 years.
A formal assessment process is carried out by either the local authority or local health trust. If your child is assessed as being eligible for specialist support, you can request a personal budget which is calculated to meet the identified needs of your child. There are several different types of assessment that are undertaken by education, health and social care services that can include access to a personal budget. The information on this page is about asking for a personal budget where an EHC plan is being considered or is in place.
Parents, carers or young people aged 16 and over can request information about a personal budget for an EHC plan at any time. Legally, the council only has to prepare a personal budget when they decide it is necessary to draw up an EHC plan. Parents or carers of children and young people have the right to make a request to the Local Authority for a personal budget once an EHC assessment has been completed and the authority has confirmed that it will prepare an EHC plan. They can also request a personal budget during an EHC plan review.
A personal budget can be made up of health, social care and education funding and it must be linked to the outcomes in the EHC plan. The council will be able to provide information about what specific personal budget options are available to you. Once you have decided how you wish the personal budget to be used, the council will work with services to make sure the necessary arrangements are put into place.
Funding for personal budgets come from releasing the value of a child or young person’s additional support from the services they may otherwise be expected to make use of. The money available for personal budgets is that which can be used for an individual child or young person without adversely affecting other children that use that provision. Most children and young people, even those with special educational needs, attend school or college supported by the resources available to all within the provision and this support is clearly identified in the Local Offer. However, there are some children and young people who need additional support identified in their EHC plan without which they would unlikely to be able to achieve their outcomes. This additional support is the basis for the funding of a personal budget.
Education: Schools and colleges are required to put appropriate support in place for children with SEN and disabilities through funding from local and central government. Where a child or young person is identified as requiring support which is over and above this amount, top-up funding is provided by the local authority to a setting. This top-up funding is the amount which is available for use as part of a personal budget. Where this top-up funding is taken out in direct payments, it will be important for your child’s setting to agree to how this could be used and to fit with whatever else is happening in the school or college.
Health: Continuing Care (a package of care that is arranged and funded solely by the NHS for individuals who are not in hospital but have complex ongoing healthcare needs).
Social Care: short breaks for disabled children, young people and their families.
There are four ways in which a personal budget can be managed:
- Direct Payment (previously known as Cash Personal Budget)
- Delegated Direct Payment
- Individual Service Fund
- Council Managed Personal Budget
In all four options, the parents or carer, or young person is accountable to the Local Authority or Health Service, who will also monitor the spend and to ensure that the identified outcomes in the EHC plan are achieved. Read more…
Independent support and advice is available to young people and parents / carers to manage personal budgets. Currently the council has a contract with Penderels Trust who can offer support with all four payment options.
The decision that a single needs assessment is required for the completion of an EHC plan is the trigger for a parent or carer to request a personal budget. The single needs assessment process will be undertaken with the child or young person and their family. Together they will identify personalised learning, health and/or care outcomes required to ensure the child or young person’s continued progression with discussion about how they can be achieved. During this discussion those aspects of support which lend themselves to personal budgets will be highlighted and an indicative amount identified. This indicative amount is the basis on which a young person or a parent/carer will create their proposal. The proposal must enable the child or young person’s outcomes to be met and final amount will be agreed on this basis. The timescale must be in line with statutory requirements for the completion of the EHC plan (20 weeks). Where it is intended that provision bought by a parent or carer, or young person via a personal budget is to be provided on school or college premises the local authority must secure the agreement of the Headteacher or Principal. The effectiveness of the personal budget in meeting these outcomes will be reviewed termly initially to allow for adjustments. It will also be reviewed in line with the annual statutory review.
Watch our video to discover how Jack has used his Direct Payments for education and social care to provide support identified in his Education, Health and Care Plan.
An EHC plan will always have an educational part to it and your SEN Case Worker will be able to discuss any queries that you might have about the plan or a personal budget. If you are dissatisfied with their response, you can ask for the SEN Casework Team Leader to look at your case. Contact details of the SEN Team are available below:
The Special Educational Needs Team
Access and Inclusion
PO Box 35
Telephone: 01724 297148
You can also make a complaint using the standard North Lincolnshire or health service complaints procedures. North Lincolnshire complaints policy is available and with details of how to make a complaint here
NHS North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group welcome feedback, positive or negative, about your experience of local NHS services as this helps them to improve services for patients.
If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from NHS services, you have the right to make a complaint, have it looked into and receive a response. You can also raise your concerns immediately by speaking with the staff involved.
For health complaints you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) by phone, letter or e-mail:
Phone: 01652 251125
Address: Patient Relations, Health House, Grange Park Lane, Willerby, East Yorkshire, HU10 6DT
We will always seek to resolve your concerns as best we can, including through independent mediation and disagreement resolution where necessary.