A guide to safeguarding, managing risk and personal budgets Supporting the work to implement personal budgets as part of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms

Girl and boy standing in a shopping centreThis guide looks at maximising opportunities and minimising risks of using personal budgets for children with special educational needs and disability in England. It examines how to support children and families to take advantage of the extra choice, control and responsibility they have over getting support.

The guide focuses on the steps that can be taken at individual, operational, community, strategic and Local Safeguarding Children Board-level to ensure that children’s safeguarding needs are central to the new system. It draws on good practice from across the country and provides key guidance and checklists.

The guide is aimed at readers with a good working knowledge of personal budgets and how they fit within the new education, health and care (EHC) plans and the wider special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms.

Authors: Nic Crosby, Shirley Wilson and David Miller
Published: 2015

The report puts forward recommendations for safeguarding, managing risk and personal budgets some of which are set out below. 

Children, young people and families should:

  • have access to information that explains personal budgets and the expectations and responsibilities that come with taking up this opportunity
  • be involved and supported in writing and reviewing the education, health and care plan
  • be able to access advocacy, independent support and mediation services.

Planning coordinators (those writing the education, health and care plan) should:

  • have a good working knowledge of the local approach to personal budgets and other options available to families
  • have access to support to help families and young people navigate their way through recruitment of support and/or personal assistants and be aware of local policies in their area concerned with safer recruitment.

Those with responsibility for agreeing the education, health and care plan should:

  • ensure that the local offer has information about personal budgets and that this information is transparent about decision making and allocation systems
  • make sure safeguarding training and/or support is available to all those who support children and young people with education, health and care plans
  • check that easy-to-understand information is developed and made available to all key audiences.
Acknowledgements 4
Summary 5
1. Introduction 6
2. SEND, wider risks and safeguarding  
3. Maximising the potential of personal budgets, managing risk and promoting wellbeing 8
4. Conclusion 17
References 18

Please cite as: Crosby, N., Wilson, S. and Miller, D. (2015) Safeguarding, managing risk and personal budgets: supporting the work to implement personal budgets as part of the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms. London: NSPCC.

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