Direct Payments are a way of arranging social care services for disabled children and young people and their families. A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child is given money to pay for the service instead of the local council arranging that service on their behalf.

This guide has been written for people with parental responsibility for disabled children who are considering using direct payments to purchase part or all of the services required by their child, including employing carers, purchasing equipment or local services.

This guide has been written to take readers step by step through the employment process and to ensure that they are aware of all the pitfalls. It also aims to make sure parents employ the best person and use the best services for their child.

More information on Direct Payments


  • Introduction
  • Preparation
  • Advertising and Shortlisting
  • Interviewing
  • Checks and References
  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Pay, National Insurance, tax and insurance
  • Choosing a service and buying equipment
  • Job description for a personal assistant
  • Person profile for a personal assistant
  • Interview Questions
  • Application form for a personal assistant
  • Sample contract for a personal assistant
  • Further sources of information