As part of Suffolk County Council’s continuing commitment to offering personalised services to children and young people with additional needs and their families, the Local Authority have developed a Personal Budget Support Brokerage Service, as from January 2015. This means that instead of one organisation being contracted by Suffolk County Council to offer this service, there will now be a range of organisations available via the Access Unlimited website.
There have been a number of opportunities available through various consultation events to talk to key members of Suffolk County Council the providers and families to assist with the development of the services to expand in line with the SEND Reforms and the roll out of Personal Budgets available to purchase education, Health and social care services as from September 2014. There is also a service review feedback form available which can be completed by anyone with an interest in the service at any time. This information is used within quality assurance process to ensure we are meeting the needs and wishes of the families we serve.
The AU brokerage team work with providers who are able to offer high quality services to give Suffolk families and young disabled people choice and control over their Personal Budgets who wish to employ their own support. The support includes payroll services, managed (supported) accounts and recruitment services aiming to help families and the Local Authority achieve outcomes underpinned by national guidance and government legislation.
Referrals of the families Personal Budget support needs is submitted via a Social Worker to the AU Brokerage team who then contacts the suitable providers and liaise with families and Social Workers to decide which one the family would prefer. The provider then contact the family and arrange the service so the agreement is between the family and the provider, however as this is public funding if a direct payment is provided families are expected to sign an agreement which outlines the expected outcomes for the allocated funds. Providers can support families to find and recruit a worker however this can take time to ensure they have the right person in place and appropriate recruitment processes are followed.
Please note this service is not appropriate for emergency situations.