SDS children and young people

Self-directed Support - child and young person’s assessment

To access Self-directed-Support (SDS) all children need to have a child and young person’s assessment. If your child already has an assessment from your local Children and Families team but you don't think you have as much control or flexibility in the support they receive, you can contact your child’s allocated worker to discuss a review of the support package.

Find out more:

How to make a referral

If your child hasn't been assessed and you feel they would benefit from an assessment you can self-refer by contacting your local Children and Families team. You can also ask your child’s school, GP, or any other professional involved in the care of your child to make a referral for assessment on your behalf.

Your child might have a support plan through the Multi-Agency Action Planning Process. This is where several agencies combine together to create an action plan for the child. If the planning process didn't involve Children and Families team, but for example involved health and education, and you think your child's social care needs are not being met, you can ask for a referral.

Who carries out the assessment

Your child will be allocated a worker from your local Children and Families team or local area co-ordinator. You will be given their contact details.

What to expect during the assessment

Your child’s allocated worker gathers information from you, your child, relevant professionals and anyone else who you think knows them well. The allocated worker will request consent to speak to others involved with your child. View children's social work service privacy notice (PDF 218KB).

We use various tools based on the 'my world triangle' framework to help us consider the whole child or young person and look at their experiences. The allocated worker discusses with you:

  • What is important to your child and what support would help make a positive difference
  • How much do your child’s support needs impact on their life
  • What support does your child already have and what else would help
  • What is the best way to help your child achieve their desired outcomes

The allocated worker asks your child and family to be actively involved in their assessment. This includes looking at the needs of your child. The worker may use different tools such as the 'my life workbook' which helps to gather information about:

  • what makes for a good or bad day
  • the things and activities that the child enjoys doing and the things they dislike
  • what is important to them or important for them such as taking their medication regularly

You and your child can also suggest other ways of gathering information, such as creating a photo collage of important things in their life, use of technology or communication passports.

All the information gathered helps the allocated worker to form a support plan for your child which is guided by the principles of getting it right for every child.

How long it takes to complete the assessment

The assessment should take around 8 weeks to complete, after the first visit by your child’s allocated worker. They aim to complete the support plan through discussion with you and your child in further 4 weeks.

Indicative budget

If your child’s assessment has identified needs that may require funded support, your child’s allocated worker will calculate an indicative budget and you will be offered Self-directed Support.

An indicative budget is the rough amount of funding that you can use to help you think about how your child’s desired outcomes can be met. It is not a guaranteed amount or entitlement. But an indication of the level of funding that is likely to be required. This budget can decrease as well as increase depending on your child’s changing needs and the review process.

A budget may not be needed to meet all the desired outcomes in your child's support plan. SDS is a process of support that includes information and advice and exploring what is available within the local community.

Desired outcomes

Desired outcomes are determined by the aspirations, goals and priorities of the child and their family. For example, Scott has greater opportunities to mix with his peers and develop social skills – Scott attends the weekend club throughout the year.

Desired outcomes are the positive changes which occur as a result of receiving the right support. For example social inclusion, less anxious, feeling safe and secure.

Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment

If your child receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) you will be asked what this is used for, as this benefit is paid to help with the extra cost involved with looking after them.

If your child receives DLA Mobility Component or PIP Mobility this will affect the amount we can contribute towards the identified need for social mileage:

  • DLA Mobility or PIP Mobility used for a Motability vehicle - 15 pence per mile
  • DLA Mobility or PIP Mobility no Motability vehicle - 25 pence per mile
  • No DLA Mobility or PIP Mobility - 45 pence per mile

Children and Families team contributes towards the cost of mileage to be paid to a Personal Assistant (PA) using their own vehicle to transport your child to activities which have been identified to meet your child’s desired outcomes. When employing a PA you can negotiate the mileage rate to be paid, but best practice would be to pay them 45 pence per mile. This can mean that you need to top up our contribution to meet this cost.