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Devon’s SEND Local Offer

Personal budgets and direct payments

We aim to provide more personalised support to children and young people who have additional needs, requiring specialist support. One way to achieve this is to offer young people and their families more choice and control over the way funding is used for their support.

Traditionally, statutory services have commissioned specialist provision to meet the needs of all children requiring specialist support within Devon. Families and young people (over 16 years of age) now have the choice to request that funds be taken out of commissioned specialist services and managed by yourself, where a different type of support has been agreed to meet your child’s needs, and where doing so does not negatively affect other young people receiving those services.

In education, this is called a personal budget and in social care, we refer to this as direct payments. A personal budget or direct payments is the allocated money necessary to provide for this specialist provision.

Personal budgets and direct payments are not a way of getting extra money but for using the existing money available more flexibly and effectively in a way that suits the individual to achieve the outcomes identified in their EHCP, social care or health care and support plan.

Personal budgets and direct payments enable you to self-direct support giving you more choice, control and flexibility in how the assessed needs for you child, young person or family are met.

Who can have a personal budget?

There are three areas you can have a personal budget or direct payments (or both) for education, health, and social care. You can request a personal budget or direct payments (or both) for one or more of these areas of provision if you have:

  • an Education, Health and Care plan
  • a Health Care and Support Plan and are eligible for Children’s Continuing Care
  • a Social Care plan, children in need plan, or short breaks plan for disabled children

You can only have a personal budget for education provision if you have an EHCP.

You don’t have to have a personal budget if you don’t want it – support to meet the outcomes in the plan can still be provided by the Council and the clinical commissioning groups in the traditional way.  

Find out more about personal budgets and direct payments using the links below.