Children’s individual budgets need commissioning overhaul

The government must develop a three-level approach to commissioning if individual budgets and self-directed support for disabled children and young people are to succeed, say a new report.

The report for the Department for Children, Schools and Families says that national pilots have highlighted the need for individual, operational and strategic levels of commissioning.

A phased approach with the support of Budget-holding lead professionals (BHLPs) could provide a stepping stone for disabled children and their families from the current model to individual budgets, say authors, Nic Crosby, a consultant with the company Paradigm, and Clive Miller, principal of social care at OPM.

The Department of Health is now piloting individual budgets and self-directed support at nine local authorities as part of the Taking Control programme following its Aiming Higher for Disabled Children: Better Support for Families report earlier in the year.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families is sponsoring a pilot scheme, supported by OPM, in 16 local authorities to look at the role of BHLPs, who support children who fall below the statutory threshold for service provision.

And Paradigm, is running the Dynamite project, which supports young people who are moving into adulthood to develop self-directed support.  

The report explores the practice and commissioning implications of transferring to individual budgets.

The authors said: “Achieving these changes will require strong local leadership capable of communicating a clear yet evolving vision of the way forward.  We hope that this paper will also help localities to develop a local vision.” #


More information

Nic Crosby and Clive Miller report Introducing individual budgets and self-directed support for disabled children, young people and their families and carers

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