Last updated: 04/01/2013
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What are Direct Payments?
Direct Payments are payments that are paid to the parent or
carer of a disabled child, or to a disabled young person up to 18
years of age. It enables them to either arrange and pay for their
own support and services or to receive support from an independent
Direct Payments will allow you to employ your own staff to
provide care and support for your child or young person, instead of
receiving assistance arranged from Cornwall Council.
A Direct Payment can offer greater choice and control over how
you manage your child’s needs and can provide increased
independence for a young disabled person.
There is no charge involved in choosing Direct Payments and your
entitlement to welfare benefits will not be affected.
Who can receive Direct Payments?
- Anyone who has parental responsibility for a disabled child and
any young disabled person aged up to 18; and
- An assessment has been undertaken by your social care worker,
confirming there is an identified need and additional social care
support is required. Direct Payments will then form part of the
child’s care plan.
What can Direct Payments be used for?
Direct Payments can be used to purchase a service that meets the
identified assessed need of disabled children and young people.
Most families employ a personal assistant to provide care and
support and, for example to accompany the child or young person to
social or leisure activities.
Direct Payments can also be used for accessing short breaks.
You have a responsibility to ensure that the Direct Payment
funds are spent only on the needs identified in the child’s Care
The Care Plan will be reviewed as and when the child / young
person’s needs change and this may impact upon the amount of Direct
Payment hours which have been agreed. Please notify your social
care worker if your child / young person’s needs have changed.
How are Direct Payments accessed?
If a child or young person is eligible, an assessment is
undertaken by a social care worker.
If considered eligible for support and services, a Direct
Payment is one way of meeting the needs that have been
If Direct Payments are to be used, Cornwall Council still has a
duty to ensure that the services safeguard and promote the welfare
of the child or young person and the Council will arrange for all
personal assistants to follow the enhanced Criminal Records Bureau
(CRB) checking process.
If you are the parent/carer of a disabled child and you would
like an assessment, please contact 0300 1234 116.
The above information is also available in our Direct
Payments leaflet which is available for you to download and