Money and financial support for SEND children and young people

Find out about personal budgets, direct payments and the benefits you may be entitled to.

Managing your money can be daunting. The information below provides:

  • advice about your rights and entitlements;
  • tips on managing your money; and
  • details on who to talk to for financial advice.

You can also find out about services, grants, funding and benefits that may be available to support your child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities and for you as a parent or carer. 

Personal budgets are intended to give young people and families greater control over the resources available to support them. Personal budget resources may come from education, health and social care. North Yorkshire County Council provides personal budgets for education and care.

Personal budgets for education

The Children and Families Act 2014 replaces statements of special educational needs with education, health and care plans. It includes the right to request a personal budget:

  • when we have completed an education, health and care needs assessment and have confirmed we will prepare an education, health and care plan; or
  • during a statutory review of an existing education, health and care plan.

The aim of a personal budget is to help children and young people with SEND and their parents to have more choice, flexibility and control over the services they receive to meet eligible needs as set out in their education, health and care plan, and to help them achieve the outcomes agreed in their plans. For education, you do not have to have a personal budget if you do not want one.

Personal budgets for care

You can find out more about how money is allocated for care and how support plans are created here.

What a personal budget can be used for

What can be included in a personal budget will develop and evolve over time. The current arrangements are described in our  personal budgets and direct payments for children and young people with SEN and/or a disability (pdf / 244 KB) document. You may find this  easy read version of our personal budgets document (pdf / 948 KB) useful.

More information

The Department for Education has produced a family guide to personalisation, personal budgets and education you may find helpful.

One way of managing a personal budget is by a direct payment. This is where all or part of the personal budget is paid as a cash sum for services to be arranged and managed by the child's family or young person.

In North Yorkshire, you will be offered support from the direct payment support service if you choose to have a direct payment. The service can help you with:

  • getting started with direct payments;
  • finance and record keeping; and 
  • recruiting staff or using an agency.

For more information, see our direct payments page, which also includes contact details for the direct payments support service.

There are many independent organisations that can provide advice about money matters and benefits.

Benefits

You can use an independent benefits calculator to find out what benefits you might qualify for and an estimate of how much you may be able to get.

See the GOV.UK benefits calculators web page to access an independent online calculator.

Money management

Dealing with money issues can sometimes be off-putting, but if you don't understand how things like credit or mortgages work, you could end up losing out financially or getting yourself deep in debt.

Citizens Advice can help you with the information you need to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losing your home and how to get your finances back into shape. See their debt and money web page for more details.

Disability living allowance

Disability living allowance may help with the extra costs of looking after a child under 16. See the GOV.UK disability living allowance for children page for more information, including rates and how to apply.

Turn2us grantfinder

The Turn2us grantfinder is a useful online tool which can help you to find out if you are entitled to financial help via welfare benefits and grants.

Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. Visit their website to learn more.

Shine

Shine provides specialist support from before birth and throughout the life of anyone living with spina bifida and or hydrocephalus, as well as to parents, families, carers and professional care staff. Their website includes information about help available to make understanding your money and rights to benefits a little easier.

A Max card is a way to make days out more affordable for foster families, and families of children with additional needs. 

The scheme is designed to help families save money on great days out at castles, zoos, bowling alleys and many more. Showing your Max card at the entrance to venues will give you discounted or free admission.

The scheme is administered for North Yorkshire County Council by NYPACT, the collective voice for parents, carers and children with SEND. If you would like receive a free Max card, please contact NYPACT by email at northyorkshirepact@gmail.com or call 01765 640552.