Direct Payments at Christmas

The Direct Payments Team at We Are Beams support parents of disabilities to access Social Care and Education Direct Payment funding. A Direct Payment is a sum of money given by the local authority to the family to be in control of their disabled child’s care and support needs instead of having them arranged for them.

The main advantages of taking the Direct Payment option are that it places the family ‘in the driving seat’. Over the past five years, the number of Kent families choosing to use a Direct Payment has quadrupled. The benefits for families are more choice about the type of support they get, control over who provides the support they receive and more flexibility over when they get support

Accessing this funding can sometimes be complicated and daunting for parents and the team support families throughout the whole process from accessing funds for children and young people to purchase their individual needs including tutoring and therapies and employing a PA to assist their disabled child or young person with their day-to-day living.

This year the Direct Payments Team have worked with 1100 families to re calculate their social care packages due to lock down. Many parents who employ Personal assistants have faced exceptional challenges and the team have responded to give guidance and support on Furlough, PPE and vaccinations supporting these parents to ensure the PA’s could continue to work safely.

Janet Day has been a Direct Payment caseworker for over 12 years and have seen the support change dramatically over the years with introduction of employment law changes, COVID impact and yearly National Living Wage changes.

“Having accessed Direct Payment for many years myself, I understand the positive impact this service has on families. For my own family it allowed me to dedicate time with my other children and helped them to grow up with a positive attitude towards the world of disability. I really enjoy supporting families through the journey and unfamiliar world of special needs, watching their confidence grow and finding support for their disabled child and empowering the family to complete employment and financial reviews” explains Janet. 

Throughout the Christmas period the team will continue to support parents and case workers can be contacted using the hotline which is open every weekday 01322 669245.

Donate to our 2021 Christmas Appeal and help us to ensure that we will be there for every family who may need our services in the future.