Self Directed Support and Personal Budgets explained: support to remain safe and well at home

Coronavirus (COVID-19): change to service

On advice from the government regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some services have changed. Find the latest information and advice about our services for vulnerable adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

See further information about changes to services.

We support residents aged 18 years or above, to stay independent, safe and well at home and in their community, if they have, or they care for someone who has:

  • a learning disability
  • a physical or sensory impairment
  • mental health needs
  • frailty due to age

We want to enable people to have choice and control over the way their needs are met; we do this through a process known as self directed support.

Request an assessment

If you live in Poole and think you could benefit from social care services, you can request a supported assessment by contacting our Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 01202 123654, by email to, or by asking someone else to do so on your behalf, such as a friend, relative, GP or District Nurse.

We want to help as many people as possible, so we have to make sure that our services go to those who need them most. We do this through our fair access to care services criteria and the information you give us at your assessment. All of this determines what services you might be eligible for.

Your supported assessment visit

An allocated officer will arrange to visit your home to discuss what is important to you, what care needs you have and the outcomes you would like to achieve. You can have a friend, relative or someone else present to help you if you want, interpreter services can also be arranged if your first language is not English.

During the assessment, we will consider your views and wishes and give you information about services. The assessment will ask a number of questions such as:

  • what can you do for yourself?
  • what can you do if given some help?
  • what help do you feel you need?
  • who helps you at the moment?
  • what is the best way of meeting your needs?
  • what goals/outcomes would you like to achieve?

We also consider the views of anyone caring for you and take their needs into account.

Your personal budget

If you are eligible for services, your personal budget will then be calculated. This is a sum of money allocated to cover the cost of your support. The way this money is used will be detailed in your support plan and will depend on whether you wish to arrange services for yourself, or if you wish us to arrange them on your behalf.

Depending on your financial circumstances you may be required to make a contribution towards your personal budget. This is known as your Fairer Contribution, you may need a financial assessment to determine your ability to pay this.

What if you are not eligible for care

If you are not eligible for funded support, we will help you to find out what else is available. There are a range of other services available that can help you stay well and maintain your independence. You can find more information about Adult Social Care on our Adult Social Care services page. You can also use the  Care and Support Directory, or contact our Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 01202 123654 or email

Your support plan

We will work with you to prepare and agree a support plan. This describes how your needs will be met and how your outcomes can be achieved.

You will be able to use your personal budget to fund meeting your care needs and to support the goals/outcomes identified in your support plan. These needs can be met via:

  • a direct payment where we give you cash payments to pay for your own care support services as agreed in your support plan
  • adult social care managing your money and arranging services for you
  • a mixture of both

Your support plan will be personal to you and may include services such as home care, day care  or respite care as well as other community based services. Your support plan will show:

  • how and when services will be provided
  • what assessed needs and outcomes they will meet for you
  • how much the services will cost
  • who will arrange the services
  • how any risks to your support might be managed

What are the advantages of receiving a direct payment?

If we arrange your care the choice is usually limited to those services we currently have contracts with.  If you choose to take your personal budget as a direct payment, you will have greater choice and flexibility over how your care needs are met. In agreement with us, you may use a direct payment to:

  • have your personal care provided by your own personal assistant or using a Care Quality Commission registered agency of your choice
  • take independent day opportunities as an alternative to attending one of our day centres
  • arrange respite care to enable an unpaid carer to have a break

Will anyone check to see if things are working for me?

We will contact you regularly to see whether you are achieving what you set out to do. We will also need to make sure that you are using the money to meet the agreed outcomes in your support plan appropriately. We will also check that any care we have arranged for you still meets your needs.

Your personal information

Safeguarding your personal information is important to us. Throughout the self directed support process we will abide by our protecting your personal information procedures.

Useful links

Page last updated: 12 May 2021
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