If a local authority agrees that a child needs services, the parent can choose to get money to buy these services themselves. This is called Direct Payments. Direct Payments should give more control to the parent over the child’s needs are met but it also involves more taking on more responsibility. Direct payments may be particularly attractive if:
- the services currently received don’t meet the needs of the family (e.g. language or cultural needs)
- the family live in a remote and rural area where no suitable services exist – employing someone local may be the only realistic option
- the child has been assessed as needing services but you have been waiting a long time for help to become available – with direct payments you may be able to organise your own services straightaway.