Education, Health and Care Plans - Personal Budgets in Rutland
Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are entitled to have their assessed needs met. These needs may have been assessed through the Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessment which will include an assessment of educational, social care and/or health needs.
The assessment process will determine whether an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is required. An EHCP will define the intervention, support or provision required to meet the needs of the child or young person, as well as stating the desired outcomes. Some help, support and services can then be provided through a Personal Budget.
What is a Personal Budget?
A Personal Budget is the notional amount of money identified by the local authority and/or the health authority that is needed to meet the identified needs of an individual child or young person in his or her EHCP. Once the intervention, support or provision has been agreed, a notional monetary value is then assigned to provide this. This value is personalised to each child or young person and details of the Personal Budget will be included in Section J of the draft EHCP.
How would I receive a Personal Budget?
Personal budgets are provided in two ways,
- Notional Budgets: The local authority and public health hold the funds and buys the help, support or services specified in the EHCP. This is essentially what happens in the vast majority of cases, but it may now be possible to provide specific information about the amount of funding available and how it is to be used. This may for example include the placement details.
- Direct Payments: Parent/carer (or the young person if over 18), receive part of the funds to purchase and manage certain services themselves. The Aiming High Short Breaks Scheme is an example of a personal budget received in this way, as this funding is paid as a direct payment. Amounts must be set at a level that will secure the service and outcomes specified for the child or young person, for which the payment has been agreed. Funds can also be paid to and managed by an individual or organisation on behalf of the child’s parent/carer or the young person.
In most cases the intervention, support and / or provision will be sourced using a combination of these 2 methods.
What is a Personal Budget used for?
Personal Budgets are used to secure help, support or services that are agreed and written in a child or young person’s EHCP. The agreed help, support and services are put in place to achieve progress and positive outcomes for a child or young person. This could, for example, be support from a Personal Assistant to develop independence or mileage expenses for parents to take their child to school.
What can be included in a Personal Budget?
Personal Budgets may be used to secure the three different elements of an EHCP. They can include a value for education, health and social care provision.
However, not all children and young people will be allocated individual amounts of funding for each intervention, support or provision as it may not always be possible to identify an amount of money that applies to a single individual for a specific service. In many cases, support will be provided as part of a larger budget or contract which cannot be separated out. For example, large contracts for such services such as Speech and Language (SALT) may be in place with the NHS, a school or college.
Even where funding can be identified, it may not always be possible to provide this as a Direct Payment without having a negative effect on the ability of those services to support other children and young people with SEND. This may be where a large agreement is in place with a service provider to gain best value for money for a number of children.
In such instances, the SEND Case Officer and the relevant partner will consider if a Notional Budget can be identified and /or if a Direct Payment is possible. The SEND Code of Practice also states that the cost of a school or college placement is not available as a direct payment.