Parents, carers and disabled parents
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Direct Payments

AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
I've just looked through all the threads and am surprised to find that no one has brought this up yet.
I went to a meeting today regarding direct payments but it was dominated by three people perusing their own agendas and so I left after an hour an a half (good endurance I thought!).
Can anybody out there give me positive feed back about getting direct payments?


  • JESJES Member Posts: 1
    We have been receiving direct payments for my stepson for over 14 years. What are your questions about it please?
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    DPs mean an acocunt into which money is paid for you to then fund carers, short breaks etc as neede by your child. flexible. there should be support for you eg payroll help etc.

    also been receiving DP for years - best thing ever!

    have carer employed and chosen by me at hours which suit, also can save up hours to eg take carer on weekend break with us etc.

    (not the same as personal budget tho)
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks to both of you. I'm really pleased that you have had positive experiences with Direct Payments. I'm afraid that I might b cynical.
    I've got loads of questions. Firstly I have never been offered Direct Payments but now understand that Social Services have a duty to to this. I have requested them but was told that because my daughter is subject to a Safeguarding protection plan we were not entitled to them?
    Anyway I think that the protection plan will be terminated (or whatever the correct terminology is) soon.
    Our social worker decided that we should have four nights respite a week. I was not comfortable with this and it took them nearly a year to find an appropriate carer. In the mean time I found and secured my daughter a place at a local Stiener school where she could attend as a weekly boarder (four nights) but because of current thinking Social Services are dead against this.
    Her current carer is probably older than me, lives with her very old and infirm mother and as a result has little or no contact with other children. Their idea of an outing is to a large shopping centre or a trip to a garden centre. My daughter is 13 and I am her sole carer. I just know that her needs would be best met at this school where she would receive the 'waking curriculum' .
    Education have agreed to fund the education side of the placement IF they have a referral from Social Care.
    I feel sure that I should be able to achieve this if I could get Direct Payments. What do you guys think?
    Hope that all made sense and sorry to go on so.
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    alistair you dont want direct payments for this but you could look into a whole personal budget package (slightly different)

    direct payments are for short breaks - not really for education needs and i think boarding a school is also about meeting her need for 24 hour curriculum.

    as well as my direc tpayemtns i also have xx amoutn of overnight respite at a centre - these are paid direct to t he centre rather than coing via my dp account - so it can be done to ahve both things going on.

    of course it also amounts tor espite too so ss need to agree - you need some kind of multi discplinary meeting with education and SS where is agreed that from educaiotn point of view suits her -24 hour curriculum - plus from family point of view suits her (ijn terms of respite) .

    have you psken to local parent partnership ?
    or IPSEA, SOSSEN, network 81?
    et one of the organizations dealing with education to work with you on drafting the right letters. find someone local who can atend meetings with you - try also contact a family if they have local branch?

    as an initial "attack" - can you ask social services to mee twith you AND someone from education to set out what she needs and why 24 hour curriuclum four nights a week would meet her needs? both ediucationally and fo her leisure skills, self help, life skills indpendence, (as wella s your rspite)

    but speak to one of those helpflines about how to present your arguments clearly, from an educaiton perspective. try local parent partnership ?
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    sorri typos - but you get what i mean
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    also - if ~"Our social worker decided that we should have four nights respite a week" and you ahve that in wiritng then it seems pretty clear - yo have found a placement that will offer this so quite why SS now dithering is beyond me.

    but write a clear letter with copies of that pvs agreement and spell out in simple language whay the steiner meets her needs on all accounts.
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    you could of course still ask for the money via direct payments.

    so - ask for a costing from the steiner shcool for the overnights and tell SS you want this amount per month in direct payments !

  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    also ask in writing for thir reaons why they are "againt it " so you can refute each argument
  • toasttoast Member Posts: 46 Listener
    should DP be affected by other support you get? My daughter has a PCT funded care package (nurse here overnight) and will be going to a local hospice. We enquired about DP a couple of years ago - we just wanted a couple of hours a week for someone to take her to rainbows / brownies. Instead we were referred to core services for another out of the home short breaks respite scheme - which wasn't really what we wanted.

    Its all stalled there. Am I justified in going back to SW and pushing for DP? Proving v difficult to get so far
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Thanks natashailg for all of the advice I haven't got time to repond to it all at the moment but will try to later, after the young lady has gone to bed!
    Toast, I think you should keep pushing!
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    toast - yes - you can ahve care which is contracted and paid for directly AND dps for you to use as you decide.
    point out that you looking for somthin very specific and is much easir for hem and you if you have the funds but arange the person and employ tm yourself.ind out how much it will be (they will have an hourly rate) and that therefore you asking for x hours per week as direct payments.
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi natashailg,
    Wow! I've just re read all you wrote. Thanks and, no offence, but you sound like a fearsome woman. At the risk of diverting the subject I find that as a man when I try to be assertive I get accused of being aggressive (I'm not).
    That being said I have developed a good relationship with my daughters social worker and believe we have built a mutual respect.
    Round here they now refer to what I call the '24 hour curriculum' to the 'waking curriculum' and I have tried to get education and SS to talk to each other. I was hoping this would happen at the last annual review (last march) but SS failed to turn up.
    I don't know anything about personal budgets except that I thought they were something to be introduced next year? I'll look into that.
    I have contacted IPSEA and they put me in touch with a solicitor. I can get legal aid because of my caring role and other factors I am now unemployed. It is so bizarre that the ….... oh no I wont start on that one.
    She has been really supportive but says we can't go to tribunal because the package that SS is offering is robust.
    From what I understand current social care thinking is completely against any sort of institutional care. I kind of understand this, just look at that terrible abuse that occurred in that home in Bristol.
    Do you know anything about Steiner schools? It would be all about life skills, just what my girl needs. I've been trying to encourage her social worker to visit the school but she hasn't yet.
    Thanks natashailg and, toast do keep on asking for what you know is right for your child.
  • toasttoast Member Posts: 46 Listener
    thanks so much both for replying - I will deffo follow up with SW

    have not had a v good run with SW. It took 4 attempts to get one out to even do assessment. We had 3 letters saying our child didn't meet the criteria of disability. Just laughable (she has PMLD, no mobility, speech, deaf, doubly incontinent, complex health issues etc etc)

    good luck Alistair. I know nothing about steiner schools but if you've looked into it thoroughly and feel that its best for your girl then go fight for it! Please let us know how you get on
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Wow Alistair! I leave you alone for a few weeks and you seem to have fought back!!! Getting a solicitor involved is a good move....frightens everyone that you are not messing around anymore. I'm sure IPSEA etc have explained Direct Payments, Personal Budgets are nothing to do with Educational placements. I was offered a personal budget a couple of years back...which was the pilot scheme, but declined it as it's a way to get parents to do more running around to find appropriate respite centres. Direct Payments work well for us, especially when you have the right people supporting you. As for educational placements...I'm right with you there! Still fighting for a school placement for my son since Feb'12. I think the new laws covering health, welfare and education will be alot more supportive at looking at all needs required...but meanwhile we fight on as everyone is protecting their own budgets. I'm surprised your LEA haven't suggested their own residential schools? It's a cheaper option for them...have you thought about it??? Or if the Steiner is where your heart fight for it! I've heard alittle about them, but no direct feed back. Perhaps put a feeler out on Netbuddy? Good Luck.
  • Natasha BrownNatasha Brown Member Posts: 112 Courageous
    "current social care thinking is completely against any sort of institutional care" perhaps they should try telling that to all the fat cats who place their offspring at Eton? or other such "institutions"? are they ok? if so why ? how do they diiffer from what you asking for your daughter?

    you tallking about boarding at a school ..... not a 1950s institution ...
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi to you guys, just a quick update.
    We're getting a new social worker (changing teams again!). I met with her today and she didn't have a clue about Direct payments but, respect to her, she did listen and took some phone numbers from me and said she'll look into it.....we'll see!
    More convinced than ever that the school is the right place for my daughter after to going to their summer fair last Saturday. They have amazing adult provision in the form of a Camphill community.
    Yeah, natashailg, completely agree with your comments about the fat cats. I'm trying real hard not to show my politics but it is really about ideology.
    Thanks Heather, I'm getting there, I think! New medication (I hate taking it and resisted for a long time). Oh, yes, and by the way my daughter is called Erica, the botanical name for heather.
    How are things going toast?
  • HeatherHeather Member Posts: 171 Listener
    Hi Alistair. You sound much more assertive...well done! Just to say, my MP has written to the LEA and underlined many aspects where they have failed to meet my son's needs. He has expressed his support and said he would not hesitate in following through with legal action. We await their reply...which I'm sure will be grovelling. My Direct Payments home support worker came last week. She said how they are cutting back at social services and forcing social workers to take on the DPs. It causing a huge back log and lots of added paperwork. The system is going to collapse under the pressure soon...if not already. Hope Erica is being good! No doubt like us, you'd like to have a placement secured for September....fingers crossed. Take care. H
  • AlistairAlistair Member Posts: 104
    Hi Heather. It's good you've got your MP involved, in the past I went to local councilor level but that was concerning my estranged wife's mental illness and the lack of support she was getting (sadly I a lost cause). It's extraordinary that we have to fight so hard for our rights, isn't it?! I feel so lucky that I have the education and resources to be able to maintain the struggle but really feel for those less fortunate. Erica had her penultimate time with her sessional worker today. She (the sessional worker) was made redundant last Friday and had to re-apply for her job on Monday....I mean how crazy is that....saving money.....what is going on here?! Yeah, I'm aiming for September too but am not holding my breath since my original target was January this year. Good Luck to you and thanks for your support. Erica is being good but on these long summer (?!) evenings it's hard to settle so I have broken a little rule and let her go to bed with her DS. No doubt if SS knew I'd be deemed a bad parent for not maintaining boundaries!
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