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What is a Personal Budget?

A Personal Budget is a sum of money that may be available for children and young people who need extra help above that available through universal and targeted services. A Personal Budget is an amount of money that can be used flexibly to support the extra needs of the child/young person. The family choose to receive and organise the funding of a Personal Budget; this is called a Direct Payment. The Personal Budget is not all of the resources that are available to support a child or young person, just the amount that can be used flexibly by the family or young person to support the additional needs of the child /young person. Personal Budgets are offered in some circumstances by public services including councils and the NHS.

In brief the following Personal Budgets are available in Newcastle to eligible children:

  • Personal Education Budget- Children who have additional funding from high needs funding as a result of their complex educational needs and who have an Education Health and Care plan (EHC Plan)
  • Social Care Personal Budget (sometimes called an Individual Budget) – available to children who have complex needs who require additional funding
  • Personal Health Budget- children who are assessed as entitled to NHS children’s continuing care funding
  • Personal Travel Budget- children who receive home to school transport

For more information on who is entitled to a Personal Budget, see the page Who can get a Personal Budget

What are the benefits to families and available choices?

It is important that parents and young people feel able to suggest ways to use their child’s Personal Budget that are personal to them and the particular family circumstances, as long as it is meeting the agreed outcomes. How a young person can use a personal budget depends on what kind of budget it is, so for example it would not be usual to use a Personal Health Budget to purchase teaching assistant support in school. People have used a range of personal budgets to provide:

  • Support in the home, whether it’s equipment or help with personal and domestic activities
  • Equipment to help communication or learning
  • Support for the child to join in with local clubs or activities
  • Sports or cultural activities
  • Short breaks
  • Employing personal assistants
  • Someone to go with you on a daytrip or short break e.g. so you have more time for brothers and sisters
  • Work experience or a work-based learning opportunity

How are Personal Budgets provided?

Education, Health and Care may have different ways of organising Personal Budgets but they work together through the child’s Education, Health and Care Plan to ensure that the family know whether they are entitled to a Personal Budget and how much they will receive. This is decided through the assessment part of the Education, Health and Care Plan.

What information do parents and young people need about personal budgets?

The information families, children and young people need about personal budgets are:

  • The opportunity, rights and responsibilities of personal budgets (background)
  • Eligibility
  • Funding included within a personal budget
  • How the offer is calculated
  • How it is agreed
  • The choices families have about how to manage the funding
  • How to work through disagreements

All of these issues are explored in detail in the council’s Personal Budget policy

Finding services to spend personal budgets on?

This website is designed to list services you may find useful, and that you may want to consider from you personal budget. Please search the site, or see What is the Local Offer for more details

Who can provide support to families?

Several organisations who can offer advice to families about Personal Budgets are listed in related services on the right

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