Direct Payments have changed some people's lives for the better.

Mother of a child with autism: "Direct Payments mean I can arrange care with my support worker where and when I like, not asking for care and waiting for answers - much easier."

A mother of a disabled child from Finchfield: "More than happy with Direct Payments.  It meets all our family needs, gives our child more opportunities to be independent and more of an active lifestyle with his support worker than I can offer at times due to other family commitments.  Thank you!"

Our social workers have noticed the difference they can make to families too...

A social worker from the Children with Disabilities Team: "From my experience Direct Payments is being well received by parents caring for disabled children particularly as a means of improving their social inclusion in community-based opportunities.  The scheme provides a resource to parents with which to support their children in a flexible, individual way."

How Direct Payments work

We are responsible for arranging services to assist parents of disabled children and disabled young people.  We can give some parents and young disabled adults, aged between 16 and 17, cash payments to buy their own care instead of arranging the services they need for them.  This is called a Direct Payment.

Direct Payments enable parents and young people to become more involved in the decisions they make regarding the services they need. 

For example, if your child has a disability and needs to access community activities, traditionally we would arrange the help for you.  With a Direct Payment, we will give you the money to buy the service that's needed.

You can employ a person to support and care for your child in the community so that they can attend a youth club, go swimming or join the cubs, if you prefer, you can buy the support from a private organisation.

What can I buy with my payment?

Direct Payments can be used to buy:

• short breaks away from home
• help with personal care or home (domiciliary) care
• home-based respite care
• a day nursery placement or an after-school club placement
• a sitting service.

Currently, Direct Payments can be used to buy any type of care and support that your child is assessed as requiring in the community but it can only be used for up to 4 weeks stay in a care home (respite or short stay) in any 12 month rolling period.

Stays of less than 4 weeks are added together where there are less than 29 days separating them.

What if we already receive services?

You may already get help from us.  However, if you are interested in Direct
Payments it may be possible for you to transfer to the scheme.

Who can apply for a Direct Payment?

People who can apply for a Direct Payment include:

  • a parent or someone who has parental responsibility for a disabled child
  • disabled people aged 16 and over who would like more control over the help they need to live independently.  Direct Payments for 16 and 17-year-olds are aimed at helping young people become more independent and prepare them for adult life. This can be a gradual process - enabling your son or daughter to take on more responsibility and achieve as much independence as possible.

Giving you a helping hand

Arranging your own care and managing the money side of things can be a bit scary but don't let this put you off because we've got a support scheme in place to assist you.  To make it easier you can have help from the support scheme and you don't have to pay for it because we'll pay it for you.

There is also a payroll service which works out the employee's tax and National Insurance contributions to help make life a lot easier.

You must have had an assessment that shows you qualify for services and you must also be willing and able to manage a Direct Payment (alone or with help).

Useful information

For further information, our fact sheets are on the: Wolverhampton Information Network

Taking it further

Why not give us a call to make sure you're not missing out. Contact the Children with Disabilities Team on 01902 444020 or the Direct Payments Team on 01902 556772.