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Social care direct payments for 0 to 18s

Direct payments are sums of money given to you to buy your own care services.

Social care direct payments are for children who have:

  • severe and profound needs and require specialist support
  • have had a child and family assessment which identifies a child’s unmet need.

Find out if you’re eligible for a child and family assessment.

If your child is eligible for social care direct payments, our social care team will work with you and develop a child in need plan (CIN) that will be reviewed regularly and reassessed every year.

Our support will also include regular visits and your own allocated worker.

How to get direct payments

To access social care direct payments, the child or young person must:

  • be 0 to 18 years old
  • live in Buckinghamshire
  • the child or parent/carer must be willing and able to manage direct payments

When your child reaches 18, their need for direct payments will need to be reassessed by the Transitions Team.

Using direct payments

Social care direct payments give you greater flexibility and control. You can use the money to employ carers most suited to your child’s needs who can:

  • provide support at home
  • take your child out to enjoy activities and clubs
  • support your child with life skills
  • help you and your child access the community and support their independence

You’ll have an allocated worker who will discuss with you how you can use your direct payments. This will also be outlined in your direct payments agreement.

Who manages direct payments?

You will manage your social care direct payment.

Having direct payments comes with the responsibility of being an employer.

You will need to:

  • open a separate bank account for the direct payments to be paid into
  • provide receipts and complete returns on a quarterly basis (through our online form)

Buckinghamshire Council provides support with setting yourself up as an employer. Ask your allocated worker for advice on this.

When a young person reaches 18

When your child reaches 18, their need for direct payments will need to be reassessed by the Transitions Team.

Speak to your allocated worker about this.