Direct payments are offered to individuals as a way of arranging short break/respite services for disabled children, young people, and their families.
A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child is given money to pay for the service instead of the local council arranging that service on their behalf. A disabled child will be eligible for direct payments if he/she is eligible for a service from social services.
The Council will decide whether a child is eligible by carrying out an assessment of the needs of the child and their family.
Direct payments can be made to:
- disabled people aged 16 or over (with short or long-term needs)
- parents or carers of a child with special needs or disability under the age of 18 years
You can receive direct payments for your child from social services as long as you:
- live in Luton
- have been assessed as eligible to receive a short break/respite service
- are willing to receive direct payments and are able to secure the services
- can demonstrate that you are able to manage direct payments with or without assistance
What responsibilities will I have?
- arranging the services that have been agreed in the care plan
- setting up a bank account specifically for receiving receipts of direct payments
- employing staff such as a personal assistant and the legal responsibilities of an employer
- regularly recording and reporting how you have used the money
Direct payments: choosing and arranging your own care
A direct payment is money paid to you, either as a one-off, or as a series of payments, so that you can choose and buy the care services assessed as needed, instead of getting them from the Local Authority.
Once this has been agreed you have three options. You can either:
- receive this money yourself as direct payments, so you can choose and buy your own care
- let the Local Authority put care services in place for you
- have a mixture of these two options
Direct Payments Support Service
What can I spend the Direct Payments on?
See the Children’s Services Service User’s Guide for Receiving Direct Payments for further information on what the Direct payments can and can not be used for.