Disabled young man on his way to school

In the past children with disabilities have had their support organised by social workers.

We now want to make some changes to how we support you so that we can offer you more choice and control. We call this new way of supporting your family an Individual Budget.

We have agreed to bring more disabled children onto Individual Budgets in a phased programme over the next two years. 

Read more in The Big Handbook: A guide to Individual Budgets

Assessment and Resource Allocations (RAS)

These documents provide a holistic assessment which establishes:

  • the community resources available that the disabled child's gifts and strengths are fully used to support the family to meet the child's needs
  • whether the disabled child is eligible for funding
  • in the 'analysis' section the social workers evaluation of the band of support from which a budget can be calculated.

As part of the assessment a Resource Allocation System (RAS) questionnaire will be completed which will explore the child's support needs in more detail. From the points score of this questionnaire an indicative funding allocation can be calculated.

Documents used are the Children with Disabilities access to support, Initial or Core assessment, Frequently Asked Questions, the RAS questionnaire and RAS questionaire guidance. Resources used are Family Information Service and the team around the child.

Support Planning Guidance

The individual support plan involves all of the child's networks and shows clearly how the children and young peoples plan priorities will be met within the funding allocated. The support plan can be completed by the family, voluntary sector or the social worker. The support plan is returned for approval to the children with disabilities team.

Documents within this section will include:

These documents are used to support planning guidance, child plan (with Individual Budget action list) financial summary, financial schedule. Resources used are Skills for People, Family Information Service, Pass it On Parents, team around the child.

Approval process

Support Plan is considered and discussed with social worker, family and Team Manager. A decision is made or the plan is returned to the family for amendment.

The family will receive a letter confirming the plan and budget.

Going live

The family in the support plan will have chosen how they want the money managed. The social worker will ensure that a direct payment is set up with the support from Disability North and the councils direct payment finance team. Where funding will be held by the council the social worker will make a financial plan with the help of resources finance staff.

Documents within this section will include:

Resources are Disability North, direct payments council finance team or the children with disabilities finance team where the service is in house.


Three months and every six months organised discussion to offer family support and explore what is working. This review promotes continuous improvement.

Documents within this section include:

Resources are the team around the child.


Checks the annual spend and ensures finances are in order.

Documents within this section include:

Resources are the direct payment finance team.

Approve next year

Completion of financial documents to ensure next 12 months funding

Documents within this section will include:

  • Financial summary
  • Financial schedule

Individual Budgets Consultation

This section provides the documents which support the Individual Budget process from the assessment of a disabled child to their review and audit of funds.

Please find below the response to the council's consultation about the introduction of Individual Budgets to support disabled children.

Page last updated: 31 October, 2014