This report examines personal budgets in adult social care and considers the financial management and governance implications for councils.
It reviews the approaches to transition from providing services to providing personal budgets, the choices for allocating money, and how councils can plan for the financial implications.
It also considers changes in social care commissioning and the governance arrangements needed for personal budgets.
It is aimed at finance staff and staff in adult social care departments interested in personal budgets. The report includes a self-assessment checklist to help councils review progress in implementing personal budgets and identify areas for improvement.
What is a personal budget?
A personal budget is an allocation of money given to a person to spend on a support plan. The individual budgetholder develops their support plan with social care professionals to meet a jointly agreed set of needs and outcomes.
Personal budgets give adult social care users choice and control over the support they receive.
Personal budgets can be:
- managed by the holder (through his or her bank account to spend as they choose to meet the outcomes agreed in their support plan);
- by the council or a third party,
- through an individual service fund where an independent care provider, family member or friend spends the budget for the holder to meet the outcomes in the support plan; or
- through a combination of these methods.