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12. Advice and support for families and young people

Local authorities and CCGs have a responsibility to ensure that those choosing to take direct payments have access to independent organisations as well as informed and expert advice from local authority or health staff. This can include guidance on questions to ask when engaging a service provider and suggestions on how to monitor quality of delivery.

The local offer on the South Gloucestershire Council webpages provides information to parents and young people about which organisations can offer advice about personal budgets and direct payments so that families can make informed decisions.

South Gloucestershire Council has established a list of recognised direct payment support providers who are able to offer advice and support on setting up and managing a direct payment.  For families who are employing personal assistants to deliver support as set out in the EHC plan, it will be a requirement for families to receive support from one of the direct payment support providers.

A programme of training will also be delivered to relevant local authority and health staff including keyworkers and social workers to ensure that there is a consistent approach and that they are able explain the personal budget options, benefits and responsibilities that individuals and families should consider.