What are Direct Payments?

A parent or carer can choose to take a Direct Payment instead of a short break service. A Direct Payment is a cash payment used to fund a short break service for a child or young person. Parents or carers can use a Direct Payment to employ a Personal Assistant (PA).  A PA supports a child / young person to do activities.

5 cartoon people, one is in a wheelchair

How does a Direct Payment Work?

The parent or carer would manage the Direct Payment themselves. If employing a PA to support their child or young person, then the parent or carer would also act as an employer.

You can find out more about employing a PA by clicking here.

How do I Request a Direct Payment?

You can make a request for a direct payment through the Special Needs Inclusion Playcare Service (SNIPS)

If your child or young person has a Social Worker then you can ask the Social Worker to carry out a Social Care Assessment (SCA).  This is to see whether your child or young person would be eligible for a Direct Payment.

If your child/young person does not have a Social Worker

Ask for an Early Help Assessment. Your child or young persons school, or the Children with Disabilities Team can do this.

Please contact the Sheffield Safeguarding Hub to request an assessment. The contact number is 0114 2734855.

The assessment will show if your child or young person has any unmet needs for social care to meet. You can then choose to receive a Direct Payment.  A plan is then made to agree outcomes and how to use the money to meet need.

How long does it take to get a payment?

The aim is to set up a Direct Payment within 3 months. 

If a family is looking to recruit a Personal Assistant (PA) then it can sometimes take longer to get going and recruit. If you would like more information about Direct Payments, there is an ‘Employing a Personal Assistant handbook’.  You can read this by clicking here.

5 cartoon people, one is in a wheelchair

How much will I receive?

This will depend on your child or young person's assessment of need. This varies from family to family.

Penderels Trust

Penderels Trust provide a Direct Payment Support Service (DPSS).  This is for new and existing Direct Payment Recipients. There is no charge for this service.

The DPSS can support families to be able to manage their Direct Payment themselves.  For example:

  • setting up a bank account
  • learning how to pay invoices
  • give advice on writing a Personal Assistant (PA) job description
  • finding a PA
  • DBS checks
  • finding a payroll provider
  • organising employer’s liability insurance and pensions

You can ask your Direct Payment Support Worker to refer you to the DPSS or you can refer yourself to the service. For more information about what Penderels Trust offers please contact:

Telephone: 0114 698 6959

E-mail: sheffield@penderelstrust.org.uk 

More information

You can find out more on the Sheffield City Council website.  Click on the logo below.

Picture in balck and white of Sheffield.  Text is in white font and says Sheffield City Council

Last updated: