Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


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Small Breaks/Personal Budget - Understanding our rights and getting help

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Udosdottir
Udosdottir Community member Posts: 40 Courageous
Hello,
last year (about 14 month ago) I applied for and was accepted for a small breaks program for our daughter. Our council strongly suggested they pay us a personal budget to employ our own help.

To us it felt that this would be most suitable for those who have family helping and want to formalize for example grandparents stepping in and paying them.

But we don't have any family who could help, and struggled before to find someone suitable and insisted on a "contact worker".
For me it was and is important that our daughter is not just "looked after" while I can get the house clean and spend time with her brother; which surely is important, too. But I would this to be an opportunity for my daughter to explore being independent from me, too. She is 11 now and goes to secondary school, and I feel it is important for her to get a say in what she wants to do, and help outside family to follow her own interests. Due to her complex needs, even when we go to activities, usually I have to stay on...

Now that was 14 months ago and since then nothing has happened. Back then, the city already told us that they expect a long wait because they don't have a lot of capacity, so I suppose that's what's happening. And yet it has been written down in her EHCP as an identified social care need with a prize tag attached to it.Last year with Covid still being more difficult, I wasn't too sad about it, but now I feel it's time for this to finally yield something concrete.

I am thinking of maybe switching to direct payments after all and try once more to find someone.
So here are my questions:

* How do I switch? At which point? Before I look for someone? After I found someone?
* Can I expect to be paid the amount that it currently says in the EHCP? (It says: social care needs identified for a contact worker, so many hours a week, value so many pounds; don't currently know it from the top of my head)
* How do I actually find someone? I looked on typical childcare/babysitter sites, but it's difficult finding someone suitable there

* Or should I  rather insist on the city's contact worker?

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