Disabled young man on his way to school

Social Care Personal Budgets are a statutory right for eligible children as set out in the Children and Families Act 2014. A Social Care Personal Budget is the usual way of providing funding is to families in order to meet assessed need.

Social Care Personal Budgets are therefore the way that the social work team allocates council funding to support eligible disabled children and their families. When this has been established after an assessment the family are told how much money approximately there is to plan with. The family then make a support plan with help needed and the council will consider the plan and work with the family to confirm that the right level of funding has been awarded. The indicative funding allocated before the support planning may change when the plan is agreed if there needs to be less or more funding to meet the child's assessed needs. The Social Care Personal Budget will be agreed by the council so long as the outcome of the Children and Young Peoples plan are met.

The key elements of the Social Care Personal Budget are that:

  1. The support is controlled by the individual
  2. The level of support is agreed in a way which is fair, open and flexible
  3. Any additional help needed to plan specify and find support is provided by people who are as close to the individual as possible
  4. The way that Personal Budgets are arranged should be with an approach that puts children and their families in control and organises support solutions that make sense to them

How this works in practice is described in The Big Handbook: A guide to Individual Budgets (Word, 1.61mb)

Assessment and Resource Allocations (RAS)

These documents provide a holistic assessment which establishes:

  • the community resources available that the disabled child's gifts and strengths are fully used to support the family to meet the child's needs
  • whether the disabled child is eligible for funding
  • in the 'analysis' section the social worker's evaluation of the band of support from which a budget can be calculated.

As part of the assessment a Resource Allocation System (RAS) questionnaire will be completed which will explore the child's support needs in more detail. From the points score of this questionnaire an indicative funding allocation can be calculated.

Documents used are the Children with Disabilities access to support, Child and Family assessment, Frequently Asked Questions, the RAS questionnaire and RAS questionnaire guidance. Resources used are the Family Information Service and the team around the child.

Support Planning Guidance

The individual support plan involves all of the child's networks and shows clearly how the children and young people's plan priorities will be met within the funding allocated. The support plan can be completed by the family, voluntary sector or the social worker. The support plan is returned for approval to the children with disabilities team.

Documents within this section will include:

These documents are used to support planning guidance, child plan (with Personal Budget action list) financial summary, financial schedule. Resources used are Skills for People, Family Information Service, Pass it On Parents, team around the child.

Approval process

Support Plan is considered and discussed with the social worker, family and Team Manager. A decision is made or the plan is returned to the family for amendment.

The family will receive a letter confirming the plan and budget.

Going live

The family in the support plan will have chosen how they want the money managed. The social worker will ensure that a direct payment is set up with the support from Disability North and the council's direct payment finance team. Where funding will be held by the council the social worker will make a financial schedule with the help of resources finance staff.

Documents within this section will include:

Resources are Disability North, direct payments council finance team or the children with disabilities finance team where the service is in house.


The first Review is 3 months after the support plan has begun and every 6 months thereafter. This is an organised discussion to offer the family support and explore what is working. This review promotes continuous improvement.

Documents within this section include:

Resources are the team around the child.


Checks the annual spend and ensures finances are in order.

Documents within this section include:

Resources are the direct payment finance team.

Page last updated: 
12 February 2019
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