Get a personal budget for your child
Personal budgets and person-centred care are all part of a growing way in which people can access the care and support that they need in day-to-day life, but still have control over these services. As a parents of a child with complex needs you might find your child is eligible for a personal budget and this can help you to work with your child to find creative, and personal, ways in which to spend that money to best suit them.
In particular, for younger people, remaining independent and involved in activities is vitally important. Having a personal budget allows you to spend this money on the things that will give them the greatest quality of life. This involves listening to your child about what they want to achieve in life and what is important to them, and coming up with a plan, alongside their support team, on how to deliver this.
A report from Think Local Act Personal and National Voices called My Life, My Support, My Choice (read it here) looks in more detail at the ways that person-centred care and support can help children and young people with complex lives.
There are a number of things that a personal budget could be spent on. This includes things like home help, purchasing items that help your child to be involved in family life or activities, or even to have a much-needed break. This useful booklet, via the Disability Rights UK website has some ideas of how a personal budget for children can be used.
One way to use a personal budget is to hire a paid carer or support worker. By hiring your own home help, you can spend the time to interview potential care or support workers and find someone who gels well with your child. You also get control over what that person does and for how long – so if you just need a support worker once a week so that you can go shopping, for example, then you can arrange for that.
If you decide that hiring a paid carer is a good solution for you, then we have the information that you need to get started. You can hire through an agency or use someone recommended by your local authority, but if you want complete control over who will be coming to help your child, then recruiting yourself will give you much more choice.