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Personal Budgets

Camden local offer

Personal budgets are one part of a wider transformation programme which includes Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans.


What is a personal budget?

  • A personal budget is a sum of money made available for children and young people who require additional support over and above what is available to most children through universal services.

  • The personal budget will support the child or young person to meet the outcomes in their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

  • A child or young person may have a personal budget from more than one source, for example from social care, education and/or health

  • A personal budget will help families choose the care and services which are most appropriate to them

  • It's important to note that a personal budget is different from personalisation in that it is a ‘cashable’ sum of money

A video explaining what a personal budget is

The short video below explain what a personal budget is as well as who can request one and how.

The video was produced by the charity KIDS, and co-produced with young people.

What are the benefits of having a personal budget?

There are a number of benefits to having a personal budget. These include:

  • An opportunity to empower families

  • Increased flexibility, choice and control in the services that are accessed

  • Services potentially being more tailored and personalised to the child or young person’s specific needs and intended outcomes.

Personal budgets may not be appropriate for everyone so it’s important to discuss your options with your assessment coordinator or keyworker.

Who is eligible for a personal budget?

A personal budget can be requested once the local authority has confirmed it will prepare an EHC plan or during a statutory review of an EHC plan.

Young people and parents of children who have EHC plans have the right to request a Personal Budget, which may contain elements of education, social care and health funding. This will not be possible for all funding, for instance where the funding supports the wider costs of provision within a school/college or a specialist health service.

At present, the majority of personal budgets relate to:

  • Transport (Education)
  • Continuing care (Health)
  • Short breaks (Care)

Camden is committed to further developing the range of services available as personal budgets and work is ongoing around this. 

Details about eligibility for these and how they would work are set out in the Camden Personal Budget policy.

If you are interested in requesting a personal budget for services not listed above, or just to find out more, you can discuss this with practitioners during the EHC planning process.

What you cannot spend a personal budget on?

What you cannot spend a personal budget on?

  • It sounds obvious, but personal budgets cannot be spent on anything that would put a child/young person at risk of harm or on anything that would not clearly benefit the child or help meet their intended outcomes.
  • It cannot be used to buy services from Camden but a 'mixed' approach is possible, with a child’s needs being met in part by us and part by direct payments.
  • As a general rule, you cannot use a personal budget to employ a family member who lives with you.

How can a personal budget be managed?

A personal budget can be managed in the following four ways:

  • Direct payment – This is a payment made to a parent/carer (or if appropriate the young person) on behalf of their child or young person so that they can buy services themselves based on their EHC plan.

  • Third party arrangement – A family can ask a third party service or organisation to manage the money on their behalf.

  • Notional Budget – A family can ask the Local Authority or Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to manage it on their behalf.

  • Mixed arrangement – A family can choose to have a mix of all three options. Part direct payment, part third party organisation and part Local Authority managed.

How can I find out more?

There are a number of ways you can find out more:

  • If your child is in the process of being assessed for an EHC plan and it is confirmed that it will be issued, you can speak to your assessment coordinator or key worker.

  • If your child has an existing EHC plan, you can contact your child’s named Special Educational Needs officer directly. Or you can call 020 7974 6500 or email

  • You can seek advice from SENDIASS who provide independent and impartial information and advice for parents, carers and young people. You can visit their website or call them on 020 7974 6264.

  • You can seek advice from KIDS Independent Supporters who provide advice and support to parents, carers and young people. You can call them on 0207 288 7175.
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