Direct payments and personal budgets

The request was successful.

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

Under the FOIA,

1. Please provide a copy of your policy regarding the trialling of SEN Direct Payments and personal budgets.

2. Please confirm whether all parents/carers issued with a new or amended statement since January 2012 have been informed about their right to apply for a Direct Payment for SEN provision under the Special Educational Needs (Direct Payments) (Pilot Scheme) Order 2012. How has this information been provided? Please provide a copy of any standard leaflet or letter issued together with confirmation of the date of issue.

3. Please confirm the number of parents/carers who are receiving SEN Direct Payments and what those Direct Payments relate to.

4. Please confirm whether any of these SEN Direct Payments could be provided outside the Pathfinder project, e.g. payments under Part 6 of a statement for transport.

5. Please provide a copy of your policy for considering requests for direct payments for SEN provision. If you do not have a policy, please confirm whether there are any limits placed on direct payments applications, e.g. they will not be provided if the LA has a block contract or there is a financial limit. Please confirm whether these criteria are communicated to parents and provide a copy of that document .

6. Please confirm your arrangements for reviewing appeals against a refusal of a request for SEN Direct Payments. Please provide a copy of any policy and any leaflet/letter issued to parents explaining this.

7. Please confirm what information is provided to parents/carers about the trialling of personal budgets. Please provide a copy of any leaflet or letter issued.

8. Please confirm how many parents/carers are receiving a personal budget within the auspices of the Pathfinder project?

9. Please confirm how parents/carers in receipt of SEN Direct Payments/ personal budgets obtained the information to make an application. For example, were they:

(a) sent the information with a new or amended statement
(b) recruited as part of a specific pilot
(c) neither (a )or (b), the family approached the LA having heard about SEN Direct Payments/personal budgets from other sources

10. Please provide a copy of your local offer.

Yours faithfully,

Measure Up! (Plese note we are a voluntary organisation and entitled to apply under the FOIA in our own name)

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Sir/Madam
 
Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Reference No: 229291
 
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show quoted sections

Tominey, David, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Sir/Madam,
Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Reference No: 229291
1. Please provide a copy of your policy regarding the trialling of SEN
Direct Payments and personal budgets.
Lewisham is an SEND Pathfinder and we are currently developing our
policies and processes with parents/carers, in line with other pathfinder
organisations, to trial personal budget development to support the
delivery of our Education Health and Social Care Plan.
 
2. Please confirm whether all parents/carers issued with a new or amended
statement since January 2012 have been informed about their right to apply
for a Direct Payment for SEN provision under the Special Educational Needs
(Direct Payments) (Pilot Scheme) Order 2012. How has this information been
provided? Please provide a copy of any standard leaflet or letter issued
together with confirmation of the date of issue.
Parents/carers issued with a new statement are not routinely informed of
their right to apply for a direct payment. We are reviewing our procedures
to ensure parents are aware of this right.
 
3. Please confirm the number of parents/carers who are receiving SEN
Direct Payments and what those Direct Payments relate to.
Three parents/carers are in the process of receiving an SEN Direct
Payment. These relate to elective home education
 
4. Please confirm whether any of these SEN Direct Payments could be
provided outside the Pathfinder project, e.g. payments under Part 6 of a
statement for transport.
SEN Direct Payments can be provided outside of the Pathfinder project, for
example Direct Payments are made for travel and petrol reimbursement.
Parent/carers are able to specify this as part of the application process.
 
5. Please provide a copy of your policy for considering requests for
direct payments for SEN provision. If you do not have a policy, please
confirm whether there are any limits placed on direct payments
applications, e.g. they will not be provided if the LA has a block
contract or there is a financial limit. Please confirm whether these
criteria are communicated to parents and provide a copy of that document.
Our policy for considering requests for direct payments for SEN provision
is being developed as part of the work we are undertaking within the SEND
pathfinder project. A financial limit is not set at present and will be
included in the policy developed to support personal budget development.
 
6. Please confirm your arrangements for reviewing appeals against a
refusal of a request for SEN Direct Payments. Please provide a copy of any
policy and any leaflet/letter issued to parents explaining this.
As the policy for personal budgets are not yet in place, any current
appeal would be subject to the Councils complaints procedures.
 
7. Please confirm what information is provided to parents/carers about the
trialling of personal budgets. Please provide a copy of any leaflet or
letter issued.
Polices and procedures for personal budgets have not yet been finalised,
therefore information is yet to be published for parents and carers. We
are working with parents and carers around the development and trialling
of personal budgets through our SEND pathfinder programme.
 
8. Please confirm how many parents/carers are receiving a personal budget
within the auspices of the Pathfinder project?
No parents/carers are currently receiving a personal budget under the
auspices of the Pathfinder Project, however we are working with three
families to prepare a personal budget to begin in September 2013.
 
9. Please confirm how parents/carers in receipt of SEN Direct Payments/
personal budgets obtained the information to make an application. For
example, were they:
The three families we are preparing a personal budget with have been
offered it through developing their child’s Education Health and Social
Care plan as part of the Pathfinder Programme.
 
10. Please provide a copy of your local offer.
The Lewisham Local Offer is currently being developed in collaboration
with Parents/Carers and SEND Pathfinder stakeholders. The final version
has not yet been published.
 
We hope you find this information useful.
You have a right of appeal against this response. If you wish to appeal
you must do so in writing to the Corporate Information Manager at the
following address:
Corporate Information Team
London Borough of Lewisham
1A Eros House
Brownhill Road
London, SE6 2EG
or
[1][email address]
Yours sincerely
James Scott
Childrens Complaints and Representations Officer
Quality Assurance Service
020 831 47435
[email address]
 
 
Kind regards
 
David Tominey
 
Complaints & Access to Records Manager
Children's Social Care
London Borough of Lewisham
3rd Floor, Laurence House
1 Catford Road, SE6 4RU
 
0208  314 6930
 
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