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Personal Budgets Overview

What is a personal budget?

If your child has an Educational Health Care (EHC) plan or has been assessed as having a social care need then you are entitled to request a personal budget. This is an amount of money your local authority (Council) has identified to meet the needs in your child's EHC plan. There is the option as a parent or carer to be involved in choosing and arranging part of the provision to meet your child's needs. 

It is an amount of money the council can give towards the support needed to meet special educational outcomes identified on an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

As a general rule, provision and resources to support the outcomes identified within an EHC plan will be managed by the early years provider, school, college or other educational settings, with support from partner agencies.

If parents or young people express a preference for this support to be delivered in a different way, or want to manage some of their support themselves, they can ask for a personal budget as part of the EHC plan assessment or review.

To find out more about Education Health Care Plans and Education Health Care Assessment (EHCA) forms including Pathways click here

There are four ways in which a personal budget can be managed:


Roy's Personal Budget-Real Stories

  1. Direct payments - parents and young people are given money to spend on support.

  2. National arrangements - the council, school or college holds the money and arranges the support needed on behalf of the parent or young person.

  3. Third party arrangements - the money is held by a third party who handles it on behalf of the parent or young person.

  4. A combination of the above

In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014, the council must consider all requests for a personal budget.

However, there are circumstances where the personal budget may not or cannot be agreed, for example: - If the council is concerned it will negatively impact on other people or will be poor value for money - If the local authority judges that a young person or family is unable to manage their personal budget - If young people or families who have been required by the law to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol abuse they will not be allowed to have a personal budget - If a child or young person is in custody, they will not be allowed a personal budget.

For children and young people with involvement from social care or health, a personal budget may be requested to meet needs and outcome identified through each services specialist assessments:

If a child or young personal budget from more than one agency, eg Education, and social care or social care and health this budget may be pooled in order to achieve any joint outcomes identified.

The legal frameworks for eligibility for personal budgets differ between adult and children’s legislation.  A personal budget represents all the resources that are available to meet the needs of an individual.  If someone qualifies for an education, health and care (EHC) plan there could be elements of support from all three services. 

A plan will provide a monetary value that is available, some of the provision may be in the form of a direct payment or all of it in the form of services commissioned by the council, particularly for education services. 

Resource allocation tools are being reviewed to ensure they better match the range of needs in the Bradford district. Adult Services will continue to offer direct payments and are looking to develop further options where a provider manages funds on behalf of one or more people.

On this website you will find a description of the services across education, health and social care that currently lend themselves to use of a personal budget. Parents of children with disabilities and disabled young people who receive packages of support following a social care assessment and/or Children's Continuing Health Care assessment can already request Direct Payments.

For information on the SEND Pathfinder-Personal Budgets and examples Click here

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The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.