Disability Social Care Childrens Direct Payments (Local Offer)

Mother paying online with child

Disability Social Care Direct Payments for Children and Young People 0 – 18 

Direct Payments are a flexible way of organising and managing support.

If your child or young adult is eligible for support from the Disability Social Care 0-25 Service you can ask for Direct Payments.

This means you can choose services or support that best meets your need and agreed outcomes. It gives you more choice to arrange and buy them in the way that best suits you and your family.

A Personal Budget is an amount of money to meet the agreed social care outcomes and needs. It can be Direct Payments or services or both.


What is a Direct Payment?

If your child or young person has had an assessment from the Disability Social Care 0-25 Service and is eligible for support, you can request a Direct Payment. This means that your child or young person will be allocated a sum of money based on the agreed outcomes. This can be used to meet some or all of the assessed outcomes set out in the care plan.

Is your child or young person eligible for direct payments?

Direct Payments can be requested for children and young people who have had a social care assessment and are eligible for support from us

  • For children or young people under 16 the money will be paid to the parent/carer
  • Young people 16 and over can request a direct payment and manage it themselves if they are able to or with support
  • Please see the information on our adult social care pages for information about social care direct payments for adults

How much the direct payment will be is based on the child or young person’s assessed needs and how much it might cost to purchase support to meet them.

How do I request Direct Payments?

A social care assessment will identify your child or young person’s social care needs and how best to meet them. Your child or young person’s Social Worker will discuss with you the various options for meeting the identified needs and any ideas you may have on how best to do this. This will include the option of a Direct Payment and what you may be able to use it for to meet your child or young person’s needs.

The Social Worker will develop a proposed support plan which they will need to take to the relevant decision-making panel for agreement. There are several decision making panels but decisions about a Social Care direct payment will usually be made at the Short Breaks Panel or the Joint Agency Support Panel. View the Decision Making Panels (Local Offer) web page for more details.

If you would like to request Direct Payments or find out more about them, you can discuss this with your child or young person's Social Worker. Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS) provide the Direct Payments support service in Peterborough and can give you information and advice about Direct Payments.

How can I use Direct Payments?

A Direct Payment can be spent on things that meet the outcomes agreed in your child or young person's support plan.

It can be used to buy services and support, for example to pay a Personal Assistant you employ to support your child or young person or to buy support from a care agency. This could be for daytime or overnight support in your home (where the child/young person has an assessed need for overnight short breaks) or support to access community activities and facilities.

You can also use a Direct Payment to pay for a Personal Assistant to support your child or young person in their home. A Direct Payment could be used for all the outcomes agreed in the support plan or just some of them. For example, your child or young person may have some support that is provided by a PCC service or a service PCC commission and some that you purchase using a Direct Payment.

Your Responsibilities

You are responsible for managing the Direct Payment and ensuring that you use it as agreed within your child or young person’s plan.

You will need to provide information to us to show what you have spent the money on and keep track of how much you have spent, for example receipts, bank statements or through pre-paid card records.

Peterborough Council for Voluntary Service (PCVS) Direct Payment Support Service can help you with this.

The Direct Payment sits alongside ordinary parental responsibilities and does not replace what you would normally spend on your children, for example paying for food, transport and holidays.

Using Direct Payments to employ personal assistants

If you wish to employ your own care or support worker there are some things that need to be in place.


If you employ a Personal Assistant you can choose to use PCVS payroll service to support with making payments to workers, calculating national insurance, tax contributions, pensions and holiday entitlements

Employers Liability Insurance

This will be organised by Peterborough City Council.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 

A direct payment cannot be used to employ a personal assistant for a child unless they have a current enhanced DBS check and are registered for the DBS update service. You will need to ensure that this is in place before they start work. If your child is cared for in the Personal Assistant’s home then all people living at address over the age of 16 years will also require an enhanced DBS check.


You will need to ensure that the Personal Assistant has any training they need. you workers have any Training they need. This could be you giving the Personal Assistant the information and guidance they need to support your child or young person. PCVS offer access to training for Personal Assistants and your PA may be eligible for funding to support their training and development through Skills for Care.

We will automatically refer you to PCVS so they can support and advise you in all of these areas.

Depending on the support needed you may need to plan for back up support for when a personal assistant is on leave or unwell. 

If you choose to manage the Direct Payment yourself, it is your responsibility to be aware of, and adhere to current employment laws and register with HMRC as an employer.

Using Direct Payments to buy support from companies

Independent providers are companies that provide support services.

You can use a direct payment to pay for support from a care agency.

If you use your Direct Payments to pay a provider, we will always want to be sure that you are using a provider who offers a good standard of care and that they are able to meet the needs of your child or young person.

Setting up your Direct Payments

You will be required to sign an agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of Direct Payments.

Your allocated practitioner can explain your agreement to you to make sure that you understand it before you sign it and explain more about setting up a bank account or you can use our contracted Direct Payments Support Service, PCVS.

Receiving a Direct Payment

A Direct Payment will be paid to the parent or carer, or to the young person if they are over 16 and managing it themselves. It can be paid to a prepaid card or into a separate bank account you set up just for the Direct Payment. This is so that you can easily show how the money is being used and that it is in line with the agreed support plan.

Prepaid cards

A prepaid card is like a debit card, but you use it to receive and spend your Direct Payments.

Prepaid cards have several benefits:

  • You will not need to set up a separate bank account to receive your Direct Payment.
  • You can get a prepaid card even if you don't have a bank account, or have a poor credit history.
  • You can access your account online at any time.
  • Most prepaid card users do not need to provide monitoring information such as receipts or bank statement.
  • There is less risk of fraud, or you having to repay money because you have lost a receipt
Reviewing your Direct Payments

The Direct Payment will be agreed for a period of time depending on the outcomes in your child or young person’s support plan. Your child or young persons allocated practitioner will review the Direct Payment as part of the regular review of your child or young person support plan.

Who cannot receive or manage a Direct Payment?

Some people are excluded by legislation from receiving a Direct Payment or managing one someone else's behalf. This includes people who are subject to compulsory measures of care under mental health and criminal justice legislation.

What you can't use a children's social care direct payment for

You must spend your child or young person's Direct Payments lawfully and in a cost-effective way.

Direct Payments cannot be used for:

  • Anything not agreed in your child or young person's support plan
  • Purchasing anything that the local authority already pays for. This could be in-house services or services commissioned by us. We would arrange for your child and/or young person to have access to them if that forms part of their support plan
  • Paying a family member or partner living at the same address, other than in exceptional circumstances (which would need to be agreed in advance with your child’s worker.)
  • Purchasing statutory equipment or services provided by health services · Purchasing education
  • Purchasing any housing service or residential care
Adult Social Care Personal Budgets and Direct Payments

Social Care Direct Payments are available for adults who are eligible for support from social care. Your young person’s allocated worker will talk to them and you about this as part of preparing for adulthood.

Find more information on the PERSONAL BUDGETS AND DIRECT PAYMENTS (ADULTS) webpage.

Who can advise and support me with direct payments?

Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS) is contracted by the council to provide a Direct Payments Support Service.

Telephone: 01733 342683 or 01733 311016 Email: direct.payments@pcvs.co.uk

They will meet with you and provide free Direct Payments information and advice.

They can support with:

  • Financial management and record keeping.
  • Effective use of banking facilities.
  • Financial monitoring requirements.
  • All aspects of finding and recruiting a worker
  • Help with the legal and practical issues of hiring and managing a Personal Assistant.
  • Advice in setting up emergency procedures and back-up cover.
  • Access to a register of local personal assistants

PCVS also provide the following which you can choose to use if you wish if you are employing a worker.

  • A payroll service (paid for via your Direct Payment).
  • A Third Party Supported Account Service. This means PCVS carries out financial transactions on your instructions, pays wages directly into your care or support worker’sbank accounts and provides you with a monthly statement of your account. This is paid for by PCC direct to PCVS.

Related Pages

  1. Disability Social Care 0-25 Service (Local Offer)
  2. Social Care (Local Offer)
  3. Money and Benefits (Local Offer)


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