Shropshire Council

I'm under 18

Important information about changing from a children's direct payment to an adult's direct payment

1) If by 18 a young person is likely to have Care Act eligible needs, not a primary health need, they'll be referred to a 'preparing for adulthood' worker

2) The referral to the Preparing For Adulthood Team (who are part of Adult Social Care) should be done in a timely manner. Children can be referred at 16. The young person will have a Care Act assessment. Parents/carers may also be entitled to have a carer assessment.

3) There should have already been a discussion with the children’s social care worker about the charging policy within adult services. Please be aware that any adult with eligible needs is subject to a financial assessment, and may need to pay a contribution (unless assessed as a carer). The preparing for adulthood worker will make a referral to the Financial Assessment Team. If you need to pay a contribution this will need to be paid into the Direct Payment account. For more info take a look at our 'Money matters' section.

4) A discussion about the young person’s capacity to consent to support should happen from the age of 16. The assumption is they can consent to support, so if there's a question about this there should be an assessment of capacity carried out by the Children's Team under the Mental Capacity Act.

5) If the young person has the capacity and wants to manage a direct payment account themselves, the direct payment account will need to be changed over to their name, or a new one opened.

6) If the young person does have capacity to consent to the support and the direct payment, but wishes for a parent/carer to continue managing the direct payment account post-18, the parent/carer becomes the nominated person. There's a form to complete, and the direct payment account can remain in the parent/carer name if they're the nominated person. For more information on this take a look at our nominated and authorised person guidance page.

7) If there's a lack of capacity, there will be a need for a 'best interest' decision. If it's agreed that continued use of a direct payment is in the best interests of the person, an authorised person will be needed to take on the full responsibility of the direct payment account. Again, a form is needed, and the direct payment account can remain in the parent/carer name. They would be the authorised person. Take a look at our nominated and authorised person guidance page for more information.

8/ If the direct payment account remains the same, details still need to be given to the preparing for adulthood worker to pass onto adult finance, as it's different to the children's finance.

9) Once everything has been agreed in a support plan the money for the direct payment from the adult team budget should be paid into the direct payment account in a timely manner. There can be delays, which means that you may need to use outstanding money (which comes from the children's team budget) in the direct payment account to pay for support. However, once the young person turns 18 its best not to use any outstanding monies in the account, as this will need to be audited and reclaimed back to the children's team.

10) Rates of pay remain the same when you move into adult services. Employed PAs will receive £10.20/hr, self employed PAs receive £11.94/hr.

Here are the steps to setting up a direct payment

Step 1 - eligibility

Preparing for Adulthood slogan

To get direct payments you must:

  • Be between 0 and 18 years old
  • Be living (or have your main residence) in Shropshire
  • Have had an assessment of your child and family's needs and be eligible for support via a social care plan, a child in need plan, a short breaks plan for disabled children or an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
  • Already receiving support from Shropshire Council
  • Be willing and able to manage a direct payment if aged 16 or 17, or for parents/carers to do so on your behalf

Step 2 - what next?

You can discuss, request to receive, direct payments as an option or alternative with your children’s social work team or preparing for adulthood worker. To speak to them you'll need to contact 0345 6789063.

Find out more from the following pages:

 ...and the following policy and leaflet...

Step 3 - who manages?

Your children’s social worker will discuss this with you.

If you're 16-18 you can have support to manage the direct payment yourself. You can choose a trusted person like a parent or grandparent to manage it for you. They would be called your nominated person.

If you're under 16 someone with parental responsibility or a third party must manage the direct payment on your behalf.

Step 4 - finances and setting up a bank account

WalletYou need to open a separate bank account to receive a direct payment (unless it's a one-off purchase of an item, in which case it can be paid into your own account).

You can use a high street bank or a Just Credit Union (JCU) account specifically for direct payments. Take a look at our 'Money matters' section for more information. You'll need photo ID (eg a passport) to set up any new bank account. Your social care worker can give you the link or application form to set up a JCU account.

Once you've completed a JCU application, they'll send other forms for you to complete, including a carers payment form that authorises them to pay who you need them to pay (eg personal assistant, care agency, payroll, membership etc).

Step 5 - share your bank details

Once you've set up your direct payments bank account, please give the details to your social care worker. They'll pass them over to the Finance Payment Team so that direct payment monies can be paid.

It can take some time to process a direct payment through our finance systems, so the quicker you can get your bank details to us the better.

Step 6 - if using direct payment for a care agency, short breaks service, membership or equipment

If using direct payments for a care agency, day care or short breaks service, you should discuss and agree what they'll provide, when and how. Once in place they'll send an invoice for their service. You can pass this on to JCU to pay, or set up an arrangement with your high street DP account to pay them.

For memberships or equipment, you'll need an invoice/receipt and then pay them again from your high street DP account, or send it to JCU.

You need to keep copies of invoices and bills as well as bank statements to share with the Reconciliation Team when they do their financial check-up of the direct payment at three months, and then 12-monthly if running smoothly. If you have difficulties providing the information, that same team will try to help and ask for you to provide the information more frequently to make sure you’re keeping up to date. JCU will send the bank statements directly to us.

Step 7 - if employing a PA

Person under a magnifying glassFor advice and info about PA recruitment and employment responsibilities take a look at our 'Finding a PA' page. Costs of recruitment can be included in your direct payment.

If you want to employ a PA, it's mandatory to undertake an enhanced DBS (police record check) and we recommend requesting two references. You can pass on the PA details to your social care worker who can arrange for your PA to have a DBS check completed through our HR team.

For more information about DBS checks take a look at our 'Resources page'.

The standard rate of £11.94/hr into the direct payment account for PAs enables you to pay them £10.20/hr, which is above the living wage. The rest accrues for replacement pay and holiday pay.

Payroll

  • We recommend that you have a payroll to help meet your employment responsibilities. You can choose your own company or your social care worker can refer you to a local company
  • The costs of payroll are included with your direct payment, and you need to arrange regular payments to the payroll via JCU or your high street DP account
  • You need to complete and return all forms that the payroll company send you
  • Once registered with the payroll you'll receive pay slips for your employees if their timesheets are signed by you and sent to payroll
  • If using JCU, payroll send the pay slips to them so that the PAs can be paid. Otherwise, you need to ensure payment to PAs from your high street DP bank account

Insurance

  • By law you must have employment liability insurance in place for you and your PAs from day one
  • The costs of insurance are included with your direct payment up to a maximum cost of £61 per annum. Again you'll need to arrange payment via JCU or your high street DP bank account
  • We strongly recommend getting a policy that includes a free 24-hour legal helpline for advice about employment issues
  • You can choose your own insurance provider; your social care workers can tell you of some companies and give you a contact number. You must ring the company and arrange it yourself. Some insurance providers can wait for payment whilst the policy is set up

Contract of employment

  • By law you must have terms and conditions of service or a contract of employment in place with your PA from day one
  • Your social care worker can share a template of a contract with you, or you can get one from the ACAS website or your insurance provider
  • You must fill in the PA details, hours etc, you and your PA should read and sign it, and both of you should have a copy
  • Please note that you'll need a new contract each time you employ a new PA

Consider with your social care worker the contingency plans for when the PA is on leave or sick.

Step 8 - if using a self-employed PA

For advice and information about PA recruitment, take a look at our 'Finding a PA' page. Costs of recruitment can be included in your direct payment.

If you use the services of a self–employed PA, it's mandatory that they show you their enhanced DBS (police record check), and we recommend requesting two references.

They must show evidence to you of their self-employed status, a unique tax reference number from HMRC. The Reconciliation Team will want to see this when they complete a financial check-up with you. They must also show evidence of their public liability insurance to you, and again the Reconciliation Team will want to see evidence of this.

We'll pay £11.94/hr for self-employed PAs. They're not eligible for statutory pay such as holiday or sick pay. Consider with your social care worker contingency plans if the self-employed PA takes unpaid leave or is sick

They should give you an invoice of their services/hours, and you can then pay them from your high street DP bank account, or send the invoice to JCU.

Step 9 - finance check and review

For more information take a look at our 'Money matters' section.

Once the direct payment has started, you'll be sent an introduction letter and have a phone call from the Reconciliation Team explaining more about what's expected. At three months there will be check-up from the Reconciliation Team to see how you're finding managing the direct payment.

You'll need to keep all receipts, bank statements, and invoices of expenditure related to your direct payment to show to the Reconciliation Team when they complete a finance check-up. If you have a JCU account, they'll share these documents directly with the Reconciliation Team. If everything’s working well, you'll then have an annual finance check-up. Where possible these should coincide with the next assessment that you have with your social care worker.