For clients eligible for funding from their local authority, a personal budget via direct payments, provides choice and flexibility and are commonly provided, however the hourly rate is not always guaranteed to meet the full hourly cost of a carer. The direct payment funds are usually paid into a specified account managed by the client or an individual of their choice who would have the responsibility of managing the direct payments on their behalf. This usually entails ensuring care staff are employed and wages paid as well as providing information to social services which would evidence the funds are being appropriately spent and managed in line with support plans.
We are able to offer solutions to facilitate effective management of Direct Payments. Uncertainty and frustration from trying to find suitable care staff can often result in Direct Payments funds accumulating within your account while clients and families remain stressed and confused about the best way forward. Epiphany are able to support and assist clients by facilitating clarity and understanding about what is documented within support plans and advise on how specific outcomes can be included in support plans. As different local authorities have different criteria’s and expectations on what Direct payments can be spent on, we can also support clients to justify and seek clarity on their preferred options when utilising Direct Payments. As local authorities can claw back unspent funds and question whether there is a need for the allocated budget due to underspending, it is important to ensure that Direct payments are managed effectively from the outset. Epiphany are able to provide the care support you need to ensure client outcomes are appropriately met.
Clients effectively become employers and a payroll company is usually required to process the wages of the care staff employed, unless they are self employed. An additional predicament may become prevalent in the process of identifying a suitable carer once direct payments are awarded, despite the scope to employ whoever one wishes. It is imperative to ensure the appointed carer has the right qualifications and skills and fundamentally that they have a valid DBS confirming suitability to work with vulnerable clients, though this is not necessarily a requirement and rather left to the discretion of client’s.Alternatively, local authorities facilitate and manage a personal budget by procuring care services from providers on your behalf. However the domicilliary care provider is selected and usually contracted to provide a specified number of care hours.
Where clients are eligible for social services funding, we are also able to provide invaluable information, advice and support to ensure positive outcomes via representation by Epiphany. We can undertake a care management role on behalf of busy families or friends faced with the conflicting demands of daily life, while supporting a vulnerable adult. This entails representing and acting in the best interests of our vulnerable clients, by communicating with social services and other relevant professionals via our care management service on your behalf. We provide pertinent knowledge, advice and information and taking instructions from you, engage with social services in line with your instructions and with the ultimate goal of achieving positive outcomes. Epiphany can provide independent review of your care needs and advocate on your behalf to ensure welfare and well-being and act in line with The Care Act 2014. We consistently seek to represent and ensure the best interests of clients with the ultimate goal of enhancing quality of life.