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Self Directed Support and Personal Budgets

Self Directed Support is a way for people who are eligible for funding from social services to get the support they need to be part of their community and to stay safe and healthy. It can be for people with physical disabilities, people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health issues, or people who are ill or dying. Self Directed Support can help people to stay healthy and independent for longer.

We want everyone living in Blackburn with Darwen to have choice and flexibility in meeting their eligible social care needs and focus on what helps them to achieve their goals in life. Self Directed Support is designed to give you more choice and control over your life. It's a way of meeting your support needs in a way that suits you.

Self Directed Support also means that you can:

  • Control the money you get for your support
  • Choose how to spend the money for your support
  • Make decisions about who provides you with support


Personal Budgets

Following a social care assessment you will be told how much is available to meet your eligible support needs - at this stage this is called your 'estimated Personal Budget'. You can only have a Personal Budget if you have been assessed by us as needing support to help you to live independently. An assessment is simply a discussion with you that will help us understand what help and support you might need.

What is an assessment?


You will tell us in a Support Plan how you wish to spend the money to meet your needs. You can have help to put together your Support Plan if you wish.

Once your Support Plan is completed social services will check that the choices you have made about spending the money will meet your support needs and make sure you will be safe and well. When your Support Plan is agreed we will confirm the amount of money available for your support needs. This will be your annual Personal Budget.

The money can either be paid into a bank account as a Direct Payment to you, or someone you trust, so that you can arrange your own care and support or we can arrange this for you. You can also choose a mixture of these options.

Finally, you spend or ask us, on your behalf, to spend the money in ways that you feel best meets your needs. You are in control as long as you spend the money in the ways you  have stated in your Support Plan. We'll check with you from time to time to make sure everything is going OK and that you are living your life in a way that suits you and is meeting your needs. 


Who will arrange Self Directed Support with me?

If you need any assistance with any aspect of Self Directed Support your social worker should tell you where you can get that help. This might be assistance with putting together your Support Plan, organising your support or managing your Personal Budget.


Self Directed Support Team

Your social worker may put you in touch with the Self Directed Support Team.  This team can help you with:

  • Direct Payment support for adults
  • Direct Payment support for children
  • Employment advice
  • Insurance
  • Bank account support
  • Health & safety advice
  • Recruitment and selection of personal assistants
  • Job descriptions
  • Advertisements
  • Employment contracts
  • Mediation
  • Agency information
  • Brokerage
  • Personal assistant training
  • Weekly drop in surgery
  • Peer support groups
  • Support to manage personal budgets
  • CRB (criminal records bureau) checks
  • Payroll
  • Personal assistant registration
  • Information
  • Advice
  • Budget monitoring and support
  • Weekly brokerage surgery
  • Support planning

If you would like more information on the services offered by the Self Directed Support Team please contact them on 01254 585339 or email 


Employing a personal assistant 

You could employ a personal assistant to support you.   The Self Directed Support Team can help you with this.


Further information

Click here to download the 'Self Directed Support' leaflet (PDF).

Click here to download the 'Direct payments' leaflet (PDF).

Click here to download the 'Easy guide to being in control of your support' leaflet (PDF).

Click here to download the 'Easy guide to direct payments' leaflet (PDF).

Click here to download the Direct Payments Policy.

You can also read two articles about how personal budgets have improved the lives of two families in Blackburn and Darwen.

The Cade family - personal budgets have transformed a family's life

Gemma Andrews - personalisation gives Gemma the time of her life


Local Account - Choice, control and enablement

To find out more about how we are helping people to take control of their support in Blackburn with Darwen, please click here to view information in our Local Account 


Useful links

You can follow the links below to find out more about self directed support and personal budgets.

in Control

Skills for care     - useful information for people who employ their own care and support staff.  Including a quick guide for new managers employing their own staff using direct payments or an individual budget, a toolkit to help people employ their own PA, information about how to use the common induction standards to induct PAs, as well as training and funding guidance and information on completing their NMDS-SC as a direct employer.

SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence): Personalisation a rough guide - This publication aims to tell the story so far about the personalisation of adult social care services. It is intended to set out our current understanding of personalisation and its implementation, exploring what personalisation is, where the idea came from and placing the transformation of adult social care in the wider public service reform agenda.

If you are still unsure the Adult Social Care Customer Liaison Team will be able to advise you. You can contact them from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday on (01254) 587547.

Self Directed Support