What are personal budgets?
Funding mechanisms are typically an operational issue for the LA, or Health Service and the educational setting. It relates directly to the individual needs and specified provision that a child or young person requires as set out in Section F of an EHCP.
The LA has a legal obligation under S42 of the Children and Families Act 2014 to ensure what is set out in Section F is provided. The cost of that provision is not a situation parents would expect to be involved in, save if you are appealing a placement when you would be expected to understand the costs associated with what you are asking the Tribunal to consider.
If you are going to be securing some of that provision yourself as a parent, then you may need and can request a personal budget.
This is an amount of money identified by the LA that can be used to deliver provision set out in an EHCP. The funds, known as a direct payment, can be provided directly to parents or a young person, or managed on their behalf by school settings or the LA. They are used to commission the support specified in the EHCP.
You can’t use it for funding a school place or post-16 institution. But it can apply to funding for special educational, health and social care provision and would be included in Section J of an EHCP if agreed.
An example might be if you have a help at home for a child or young person as part of a social care support arrangement.
The LA must make information about personal budgets available on its Local Offer website, which must include eligibility, what it covers, how funding is made available and the decision making process.
You can request a personal budget when the LA has completed a needs assessment or during a statutory review of an existing plan.