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5. Who can ask for a personal budget?

A child or young person and their parents have a right to ask for a personal budget  to be prepared under the Children and Family Act 2014 if the council has completed an EHC needs assessment and confirmed that an EHC plan will be prepared. They may also request a personal budget during a statutory review of an existing EHC plan.

In preparing an EHC plan lead professionals will always look first to community resources and universal services that support the child in mainstream services. The council will look to these resources first before deciding whether a personal budget is needed to access alternative resources. Sometimes there is no need for paid support when free support is combined with what the family and community can offer.

Local authorities must consider each request for a personal budget on its own individual merits. If a local authority is unable to identify a sum of money within the personal budget they should inform the child’s parent or young person of the reasons for this.

The introduction of this policy will not affect existing arrangements for disabled children or young people who are not in receipt of an EHC plan.  Meeting the social care needs of such children may involve providing services arranged by the council, or a direct payment to meet the child’s needs.

Most adults over the age of 18 will receive a personal budget if they are eligible for adult care and support – please see paragraph 10 on moving into adulthood. Personal budgets relating to adult care and support can be used in the same ways as set out in paragraph 6.