Now you know your personal budget allocation you need to make a plan to say how you will spend it and what your support will look like.
Support planning is about you saying what you want your care and support to look like, and how this will help make things better for you. We need to see and agree a support plan before we can release any money to you.
This is particularly important if you are taking some or all of the money as direct payments. This means having your budget paid directly to you in cash. If you do not want your personal budget in cash your care manager can arrange social care services for you. You will, however, still know the value of your personal budget.
First think about what is important to you. What were the needs you told us about in your assessment and what would you wish to change to make things better for you? Keep a note of this as it is important that the plan is really personal to you and is about what you want to achieve.
It should include enough information to answer these seven questions:
- What is important to you
- What do you want to change or achieve?
- How will you be supported
- How will you manage the money
- How will your support be managed
- How will you stay in control of your life
- What are you going to do to make this support plan happen
Your plan must be within your personal budget and show how it keeps you safe and well and that your money is being spent legally.
Help writing the plan
You might like to involve someone who knows and cares about you. This could be your family and friends, your care manager or an outside agency.
Although some people prefer to design their own support plan, your care manager can provide you with a standard support plan format if you would prefer to use this.
Starting your support plan
Think what is working well in your life and put down what you would like to change to make your life better and what support and assistance you will need to do this. When doing this think about the practical things you need support with e.g. your personal care and daily routine.
Think about what support you need to be part of your community e.g. you might like to go swimming but you need someone to go with you. You might want to have support to make new relationships or maintain your current ones.
Once you have decided on the type of support, you need to consider how much support and who would provide it. You could consider family and friends, neighbours, care agencies or community groups. Alternatively you might decide to use social care provision.
You will need to write down a brief timetable saying who is providing the support and the type of support that they are providing. It might help you to use a daily or weekly timetable. This will need to include details of how your budget is being spent.
Everyone’s support plan will be different. By being involved, you can think about the kind of support you would like to have. You can be creative and use sources of support that work for you, provided this meets the needs identified in your assessment.
Some key things
We will need to see a breakdown of what things the money is being spent on - this is to make sure the plan meets your assessed needs and helps to make life better for you.
We will also need to see information about support from others e.g. your family and friends, or if funding is being used from other sources, for example Independent Living Fund money.
If someone has produced the support plan for you, we will need to ensure your views have been taken into account and who will be helping you to manage the support and/or the money?
You need to tell us about contingency arrangements.
Your support plan will need to show:
- how would people know if you are unwell
- who to contact in an emergency
- who will support you instead when the person or agency that normally supports you is ill or on holiday.
You will need to put money from your personal budget on one side to cover these situations.
If your care manager is arranging services for you they will ensure that the right level of support is always available to you to meet your needs.
Agreeing your plan
When your support plan is finished, your care manager will need to see it. They will make sure it:
- answers the seven questions listed
- meets your needs as identified in your assessment
- details costs which are within your personal budget
- keeps you safe.
Once your care manager is happy with your support plan he/she will confirm this with you.
We will build lots of safeguards in as you go through this process: addressing risks with you; only agreeing safe support plans; giving good advice about safely employing people and using the right agencies.