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Personal Budgets and Self Directed Support

If you need paid carers we think you should be in control. Self Directed Support and your Personal Budget will make this possible.

What is Self Directed Support?

Self Directed Support is the way we arrange Adult Social Care services in Barking and Dagenham. We aim to give you choice and control over the services you receive. We think you are in the best place to decide how you spend your Personal Budget (the money that you receive for care and support).  You decide which services you want to have, who you want them from, and when you want them.

What is a Personal Budget?

As a part of your Self Directed Support, we will give you a Personal Budget. This will tell you how much money is available for your care, and you can choose how that money is spent on providing your care.

You don't have to manage the finances yourself.  You can choose to receive your Self Directed Support in a number of ways.

  • As a Direct Payment, paid straight into a bank account you have set up for this money.
  • As a Virtual Budget, where the Council manages the money on your behalf. This means that, with your agreement, we will arrange services for you based on your budget.
  • As a managed personal budget, where the money is given to a service provider (for example, a Care Agency) and you tell them which services you want.
  • As a Trust Fund, where a group of people who have your best interests at heart are legally set up to manage the money for you.

Your Personal Budget will be worked out based on your assessment. We will also use information about your own finances to work out if you need to pay some or all of your costs. Once we have worked out your Personal Budget, you can start working on a Support Plan.  We will help you with this.

What is an assessment?

What is a Support Plan?

Your Support Plan will show how you are going to use the money. We will help you to create your own plan.  You can ask your social worker, friends or family, or an independent advocate to help you write it. Having a Support Plan is a good way to make decisions about your care, and to make sure it works for you.

There are a number of traditional care services which your Personal Budget can pay for, such as day care or home care, but you are in control. This means you can spend your money on other things as long as they meet your care needs. There are some rules which have been set by the government, for example:

You can:

  • Employ support workers or personal assistants;
  • Employ family or friends who do not live with you;
  • Buy services from registered agencies/organisations;
  • Pay expenses for an unpaid helper; or
  • Buy equipment to help with your needs.

You can't:

  • Employ a family member who lives with you (except in exceptional circumstances); or of course
  • Spend the money on illegal activities.

There are some other rules about what your Personal Budget can be used for, but we will explain these to you.  We want your Support Plan to work for you.

I want to know more about my Support Plan and my rights

We will need to make sure you (or the people who are looking after your money for you) keep records of how much is spent, and what it is spent on.

We will still be in regular contact with you to make sure you are happy with your situation. Your Personal Budget and Support Plan will be reviewed with you regularly (at least once a year) to make sure your needs are being met. You can ask us for support and advice whenever you need it.

Talk to your key-worker or call the Adult Intake and Access Team if you are not sure. You can telephone them on: 020 8227 2915.

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