Social care for children in Northern Ireland Advice & Support for:
Paying for social care for children in Northern Ireland
Local authorities can give payments to parents to pay for the services their child needs. Your income and ability to pay may be assessed.
Local authorities can give parents payments to pay for the services that social services has assessed them to be in need of. These are called ‘direct payments’ and are available to both adults and children. Direct payments are seen as a very positive move for parents, for many reasons. They can give people the choice to be flexible about when, how and where they receive services, such as respite. In areas where perhaps there is a lack of formal respite services for autistic people, a parent can actively seek to employ their own carer and negotiate with them the help they need.
Charging for services
If your child is under 16 years of age, you may be charged for any services offered to your child. These charges will be means tested so income and savings may be taken into account. Your income should only be assessed once it has decided which services to offer, so your ability to pay should not influence decisions about what your child needs.
If your child is 16 years of age or older, their income and savings will be assessed to see if they have to pay a charge for the services provided to them.