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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

2.3.2 Direct Payment Policy and Procedures


This policy and procedure are intended to ensure that Salford City Council meets its statutory obligations in relation to Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996, Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1999, Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000, Heath and Social Care Act 2001, The Community Care, Services for Carers and Children’s Services (Direct Payments) (England) Regulations 2003. Children and Family Act 2014. Carers Act 2014.

Achieve consistent approaches for individuals accessing direct payments.

Provide procedures for supporting people to access direct payments.

Provide procedures to support individuals where difficulties arise.


DHSC, Care and support statutory guidance (September 2016)


Direct Payment Guidance


This chapter was reviewed and amended in November 2016 to reflect current processes and terminology. It also links to the ‘Direct Payments’ in DHSC, Care and support statutory guidance (September 2016) (see Relevant Guidance).

This chapter will be reviewed on the implementation of the 0-25 Transformation Children with Disability Test Project.


  1. Direct Payments Policy
  2. Procedure
  3. Transition to Adults Services Provision

1. Direct Payments Policy


A Children and Families Assessment must be carried out before considering direct payments along with a Resource Allocation System that provides indicative information on likely resource level needed. All staff must discuss the option of direct payments with parents/carers or young disabled people aged 16 or over a way to meet eligible needs following an assessment.

Direct payments will only be used to meet eligible needs. The needs and outcomes will be specified in a care plan, though the individual can be flexible in how these needs are met. Direct payments can be an element within a Personal Budget and therefor can be combined with other 'funding', and must be included within the Personal Budget of Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).

Direct payments cannot be used to purchase Salford City Council Services.

Direct payments must not be used to employ family living within the same home, except in exceptional circumstances, for which approval by the Disability Resource Panel is required. Exceptional circumstances might include:

  • Language, cultural or religious issues;
  • Special communication needs of the child;
  • Very complex care needs;
  • Very specific moving and handling needs.

All direct payments will be formally reviewed at intervals of no less than a year, or more often if necessary.

The financial management of the direct payment will be monitored by Salford City Council.

Direct payment recipients are responsible for managing the direct payments scheme, with support if necessary.

All parents or carers of individuals assessed as eligible for disabled children’s services will be offered a direct payment as an option to meet their child’s needs.

Where there are concerns about the welfare of a child and the safeguarding procedures are initiated, risk to the child must be considered in relation to the continuance of direct payments.

2. Procedure

A child or young person’s needs will be assessed in accordance with the assessment framework. Social Workers will discuss the option of direct payments with the parent/carer.

The social worker then completes the Care Plan and Resource Allocation System Questionnaire presents these two Documents to the Disability Resource Panel for a decision.

The decision of the Disability Resource Panel will be communicated with the Social Worker concerned and if the request for direct payment is agreed the relevant paper work will be collated and sent to the parent/carer for completion.

Individuals must use a current bank account which is specifically for the direct payment. No other payments or transactions should be used from the account.

Where the direct payment will fund the employment of a personal assistant Salford City Council insists on an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check before direct payments commence.

The direct payment recipient is responsible for their own recruitment and selection.

The direct payment recipient is responsible for making contingency arrangements, to ensure they save enough money to provide cover if their staff are absent and have made arrangements for alternative care.

Salford City Council will support the individual to be a good employer. Direct payment recipients will be provided with a handbook, advice sheets, sample forms and letters and an employee pack for each personal assistant.

Each direct payment will be monitored. The individual should keep all records of the use of direct payment as they could be audited any time. They are also required by law to keep records relating to wages for a minimum of 5 years.

Where direct payments have not been used to secure services to meet agreed outcomes, or have been used to fund items not permitted by a direct payment, Salford City Council will take action to recover the payment.

Where there is an under spend of the direct payment, leading to more funds than necessary in the direct payment account, Salford City Council will reclaim the excess amount.

3. Transition to Adults Services Provision

Direct payments are provided to meet needs that won’t necessarily change just because a young person reaches the age of 18. Consideration needs to be made as soon as possible after a young person’s 16th birthday to payments transferring, where appropriate, to adult services.