Researchers find high level of dissatisfaction with the way local authorities administer Direct Payments

A recent research report published by University of Leeds and CEREBRA which examined Direct Payments for children and young people, and their families across the United Kingdom, has found the financial value of the Direct Payment too low to recruit suitable staff who are willing to accept minimum wage. Many respondents commented that Direct Payment rates were too low to employ suitable Personal Assistants despite their local authority being willing to pay much higher rates for agency staff. The difficulty of finding suitable staff who were prepared to work for the rates imposed by local authorities was a major and reoccurring theme of the survey. The complexity of some children’s support requirements, in conjunction with poor conditions of employment, meant that many families reported finding it impossible to recruit Personal Assistants.

The report evidences considerable shortcomings in realising the original intentions behind Direct Payments, and as a result of local authorities rationing of resources is resulting in families experiencing stress, an acute lack of support and prolonged ‘battles’ to secure basic services. Consequently, many local authority areas are arguably in breach of their statutory and public law obligations to families with disabled children.

 

To read the full report, click here: https://www.cerebra.org.uk/research/university-of-leeds-cerebra-legal-entitlements-and-problem-solving-project/student-research-projects/