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Direct Payments for Children and Young People
Services and organisations that have the Local Offer flash have filled out inclusion information, meaning that they meet the needs of people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

What are Direct Payments?

Direct Payments are payments that are paid to the parent or carer of a disabled child, or to disabled young person up to 18 years of age. It enables them to either arrange and pay for their own support and services or receive support from an independent sector provider.

Direct Payments allows you to employ your own staff to provide care and support for your child or young person. This is instead of receiving assistance arranged from Cornwall Council.

A Direct Payment offers greater choice and control over how you manage your child’s needs. It can also provide increased independence for a young disabled person. 

There is no charge for choosing Direct Payments and your entitlement to welfare benefits will not be affected.

Who can receive Direct Payments?

Anyone who has parental responsibility for a disabled child or young person aged up to 18; and where an assessment has been undertaken by a social worker, confirming there is an identified need and that additional social care intervention is required to meet those needs.  The Direct Payment provision will be included in the Child Plan.

What can Direct Payments be used for?

Direct Payments can be used to buy a service or support that meets the identified assessed needs of disabled children and young people. This could be over a specified period of time or as a one-off payment.

Some families choose to employ a personal assistant to provide care and support. This may enable your child or young person to access activities, increase their independence, as detailed in their Child Plan. 

Direct Payments can also be used for accessing short breaks, if this has been identified as an assessed need.

You have a responsibility to ensure that the Direct payment funds are spent only on the needs identified in the child or young person’s Child Plan.

The Child Plan will be reviewed at regular intervals or where there is a change in need or change in circumstances. This may mean that Direct Payments would increase, decrease or cease. You should let your social care worker know if your child or young person’s needs have changed.

How are Direct Payments accessed?

An assessment of need is undertaken by a social worker. If your child or young person is eligible for social care support or services, a direct payment is one way of meeting the needs that have been identified.

If you choose Direct Payments, Cornwall Council has a duty to make sure that the service safeguards and promotes the welfare of your child or young person.

The Council will make the arrangements and meet the costs for personal assistants to follow the enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checking process.

If you are the parent/carer of a disabled child and you would like an assessment, please contact the Multi Agency Referral Unit (MARU) on 0300 1231 116.

Further information 

You can download the following PDFs from the right hand side of this page

  • Direct Payments Information Leaflet 
  • Direct Payments Policy for Children and Young People
  • Adult Social Care Direct Payments Policy 

Who to contact

01872 323059

Where to go

Children and Family Services
Personalisation Support Team
39 Penwinnick Road
St Austell
PL25 5DR

Other details


Do you offer a free or reduced rate to carers?


Age ranges
From 0 years to 17 years 11 months
Referral required
Referral details

A professional social worker can make a referral following a statutory assessment of need. Please call the Multi Agency Referral Unit on 0300 1231 116 in the first instance.

Inclusion details

Saint Piran's Flag
How we make our service inclusive

How we make our service inclusive

  • Ensuring staff training is kept up to date
  • Being flexible where possible to fit in with family circumstances
  • Using translators where required
  • Signposting to outside impartial support
  • Liaising with other support services
  • Support and advice provided in the family home
Staff SEND experience

Staff SEN experience

Our workers have significant experience of supporting the families of children with a wide range of additional and complex needs

How our service supports providers / schools / colleges

Our workers are always available to provide information and advice to school and college staff

Support at key transition points

How our service supports families

Our workers have significant experience of supporting the families of children at key transition points

Other local or national support

Other local or national support

  • The Family Information Service
  • Cornwall Early Help Hub
  • Cornwall Early Support Team
  • Cornwall Disabled Children Support Workers


Resolving disagreements, mediation and making complaints

Resolving disagreements, mediation and making complaints

• Contact the person you are concerned about and try to resolve the differences directly

• Contact the line manager of the person if you wish to make a complaint

• Contact Yvette Yates, manager of the Disabled Children and Therapy Service

• Follow the Cornwall Council complaints and compliments process

Last updated: 16/06/2021

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