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Following an assessment of my needs, I was able to begin to draw up a support plan which detailed how my needs were going to be met and confirmed the amount of Personal Budget needed to meet my needs. The next big decision was to decide how to manage my Personal Budget and to consider which option would give me the most flexibility for my needs which were often changing.

Having considered the options, I decided to go with a Direct Payment so that I could choose who supported, how and when to suit my needs and requirements. I had tried and tested an Individual Service Fund in the past and wanted to try something new.

The Direct Payment system fitted me better than the Individual Service Fundin that it allows me, as someone using enablement services and holding a support plan, to have greater say in what I want and how it suits my wants and needs as detailed in my support plan.

When you have an additional need for support you have lost some control on life, be it through a mental or physical difficulty which has required a support plan to get put into place in the first instance, having some form of control makes such a difference.

As someone in their 20s I would like to hope I have years ahead of me. Knowing I will require support of some kind, I know I can have control over my care and social needs to fit around my lifestyle as I grow.As with everything there are areas for improvement, such as when my support plan changes and difficulties employing new staff for me. This has been harder living more rural, which has meant the majority of my care is provided by agency, but as I have a direct payment I can say when I would like them working (agencies have tighter times) however, I did get to choose my agency.

Here are some top tips from me to consider if opting for a Direct Payment:

  • Make sure your support plan is designed to meet your flexible and changing needs
  • Think about how you will manage a Direct Payment - will it be you, a nominated person or a provider such as Penderels?
  • Make sure you are clear on your responsibilities as an employer - Pohwer can help you with this
  • Make sure you stay in control. you're the boss!

Katie Smith, a user of an enablement service


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