Types of Support Available
If you’ve been offered a Personal Budget, there are organisations that can help you to manage it in various ways depending on what you choose to do with it.
- You can choose to take the personal budget as a direct payment and manage it yourself (with options for support to do this available).
- You can ask a third party service or organisation to manage your personal budget on your behalf.
- You can ask the local authority to manage it on your behalf dependent on which services you wish to purchase.
- You can choose to have a mix of the three options.
If you'd like more general information on personal budgets you contact the AU team and someone will be on hand to offer you advice and information.
If you decide that you want to pay a person directly to look after your child, a Personal Assistant or Carer, you would become that person's employer and have certain responsibilities. This option suits some people as it gives much more control and choice.
Below is a list some of the things you may need to do. This list may differ slightly depending on which organisation you choose.
The organisations on the Access/Activities Unlimited website can support you to do this, either by offering support, information and advice or by carrying out some or all of the tasks on your behalf. Depending on which organisation you choose you can pay for packages which include some or all of the following services, or you can buy individual parts depending on what level of support you require to help you manage your budget. Once you have read the below information you may want to look at each provider by visiting the Provider Services section of the website. Here you will find details about the services they provide and what the cost will be. You’ll be able to link back to this page to remind you of what’s involved.
Think about the sort of person you would like and the skills they may need to have
Write and place an advertisement
Help with an application form and letters you may have to write
Act as a mailing address to receive applications
Draw up a job description and person specification
Decide on rates of pay for the personal assistant
Set up rotas if needed
Set up, arrange and carry out interviews
Carry out checks that the person has the right to work in the UK
Take up reference requests and carry out DBS checks to help you know if the person has a criminal conviction
Select the right person for the job
Keep certain statutory records.
Register with HM Revenues and Customs as an employer
Write a contract of employment
Purchase employers liability insurance
Find suitable training for your PA if needed
Set up record keeping systems
Calculate pay including tax, national insurance and pension payments
Make payments to your Personal Assistant
Liaise with HM Revenues and Customs
Arrange and pay, sick pay/maternity pay
End of year returns to HM Revenues and Customs
Some of the organisations can hold your Personal Budget in a bank account in their name and manage it on your behalf. This is called a Managed or Supported Account. They may be able to do all of the above and make the payments as well for you. This option can also be used for other ways in which you choose to use your budget, for example if you wish to pay for activities for your child then the organisation can pay the activity provider on your behalf and manage the receipts and invoices for you. You can also ask Suffolk County Council to manage your Personal Budget by paying certain providers on your behalf and there will be no cost to you for this service.
You will be asked by Suffolk County Council to provide evidence of what you have spent your Personal Budget on and will need to send in receipts and complete a spending record. Some of the organisations can support you to do this or manage this on your behalf.
Once you have employed your Personal Assistant it is then your responsibility to manage them. Ongoing support and advice to do this is available from some or all of the organisations on this website at various costs, they will support you with such things as:
Carrying out supervisions
Dealing with disciplinary issues
What to do if your Personal Assistant leaves
Re-recruiting a new Personal Assistant
To find out more about employing a Personal Assistant, there is some useful, easy to read information which you can download from the Skills For Care website.
You can find out more information about the services available to support you here or you can call the Activities Unlimited Team on 01473 260026.