Direct payment support providers
There is a range of support available to help you manage direct payments from the personal budget in your care and support plan (or as a parent, your child’s education, health and care plan).
Some people are able to manage a direct payment without additional help, but many choose to receive some support, particularly in the early days when setting up a direct payment.
- Support with direct payments – an introduction
- What support providers do
- How to get support for direct payments and who pays
- Questions to ask direct payments support providers
- List of support providers
If you choose to use direct payments, you can get support and guidance to help get started. As well as support from family and friends, and your social worker, there are organisations that can help you to get started and successfully manage the direct payment.
These organisations can also provide support planning, this helps you decide the best way of using the money that you or your child receives from the council, known as a personal budget. They can all offer you the support you need, which one you choose is up to you.
Some of the responsibilities relating to taking a direct payment, especially employing staff can be complicated and might seem overwhelming but you do not need to worry. If you employ someone to help you lead an independent life, the council can put you in touch with support providers that can help you. The providers can help you with finding staff and becoming an employer and support you throughout the process. They can also offer support on an ongoing basis if you need help to manage your direct payment once you have set up your arrangement.
If you are planning to recruit and employ personal assistants, the council will need to know that you are in touch with one of the providers. This is to ensure that you receive the correct advice and work within the law. For more information read Employing a personal assistant.
Providers can also help you get your direct payment started if you are buying services with it, for example buying support from a home care agency.
The types of help that providers can offer include:
- employing personal assistants – for example how to advertise for and interview people, getting the right personal assistant for you and how to keep within the law
- arranging insurance – this protects you and the people you employ from the consequences of accidents or injuries while they are supporting you, and can help cover redundancy costs for personal assistants
- getting a disclosure and barring service check, to check if the person you are recruiting has a criminal record or has been barred from this sort of work
- how to buy a service from an agency or provider
- how to keep track of your direct payment – budgeting and keeping a record of what you have spent the direct payment on
- payroll services so that you can pay your personal assistants
You can contact the direct payments support provider you choose at any time for help and advice once you are getting your direct payment.
All the support providers listed provide a free no-obligation phone call or visit. This is to help you make the choice that is best for you, in terms of whether direct payments will suit you and which provider is best suited to your needs. If you choose to use one of the providers you will have to pay the provider for the help they give you. The council will add an extra amount to your direct payment to pay for the support we think you need.
To begin, think about how many visits a month or support calls you will need and share this with the provider. Think about what you need support with: recruiting staff, arranging insurance, identifying suitable agencies or services, or support to budget and making payments.
The questions below may be useful to help you find the right provider. You can use them to help decide which provider is right for you.
- How will you support with these tasks and what will the cost be?
- Do you offer flexible packages to suit individual needs?
- How much notice will I need to give should I wish to end the support with you?
- What is your process for dealing with Disclosure and Barring Service checks?
- What is the process for making a complaint?
- What are the office opening hours?
- Where is your local office?
- Will there be an option of venues for face to face meetings?
- How will you invoice me for the services you are providing i.e. direct debit?
- Are you able to provide any information I need in my chosen format i.e. large print / audio etc
- How will you give me advice on employment law and keep me updated on any changes?
- Do you have a newsletter?
- Do you have a local service user group who hold regular meetings?
- I may use a nominated person to contact you on my behalf – what information would you need on this person?
We have a list of organisations that can help you set up and manage your direct payment.
Groups they work with
Ideal for All
Tel: 0121 5585555
Older people, carers, disabled children, adults with learning disabilities, adults with physical disabilities, mental health, self funders
Tel : 01452 411000
Disabled children, young people, older people, carers, people with sensory impairments, adults with learning disabilities, adults with physical disabilities, mental health
Tel: 0330 1232815
Older people, carers, families, disabled children and young people, adults with learning disabilities, adults with physical disabilities/sensory loss, mental health, self funders
The Rowan Organisation
Tel: 02476 322860
Parents, carers, adults or children with learning disabilities, disabled children, adults with physical disabilities, sensory impairment, mental health
WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living)
Tel: 0117 9479911
Parents, carers, adults or children with learning disabilities, disabled children, adults with physical disabilities, sensory impairments, mental health