Direct payments give parents of a disabled child, the opportunity to receive cash payments to buy and manage their child’s care, instead of receiving children’s services.
With direct payments you can receive money from the council instead of receiving care services such as personal care, short breaks and so on. This allows you to arrange and pay for your disabled child’s care package on your own, if you choose to.
This scheme offers parents and carers of disabled children greater flexibility and independence as services can be tailored to suit the specific needs of the child and the family.
Who receives direct payments
You can get direct payments if you are:
- A parent of a disabled child being assessed for community care services through a social work assessment of your child’s needs.
- A 16 or 17 year old young person with disabilities being assessed for community care services through a social work assessment of your needs.
- Are able to consent and be able to manage the direct payments with or without support. Being able to manage doesn’t mean doing everything on your own. You will have help from the council if you want it and from the independent Direct Payments Support Service. This is an independent non-governmental service that has been set up especially for direct payment users.
How to request direct payments
If you are interested in trying direct payments, contact your child’s social worker or the children with disabilities team and tell them you are interested in a direct payment. They can arrange for an assessment of your child’s needs. You will go through more or less the same processes as you would if you were applying for services.
This assessment will be done to see whether your child is eligible for assistance from children’s services and what your child’s needs are.
If you are already receiving care services but might be interested in changing to direct payments, get in touch with your child’s social worker or the children with disabilities team.
They will discuss it with you and if you are interested to pursue it further, they will put you in touch with the Direct Payments Support Service, which is a specialist service that can offer you independent help and advice about the process, what you will need to do and how to get started.
How to contact us
Children with Disabilities Team
Tower Hamlets Town Hall
160 Whitechapel Road
Tel: 020 7364 2724
Fax: 020 7364 27314