Direct Payments for Children

We think Direct Payments are good for everyone as they give families more choice and control over their child’s care and support. Our service supports any parents, carers and families with disabled children who are eligible for social care and support from the council.

You can ask the council to give the money they spend on your child’s care directly to you. This is called a Direct Payment and it won’t affect any of your benefits.

Our service can help you decide what kind of care and support to buy for your child and who from. For example, you could employ someone to help your child with personal care or to help them get out and about to do the things they enjoy.

You can use the payments to get support from the council, or get new support from somewhere else, or you can choose a bit of both and have a combination.

The important thing is that the support you choose gives your child the help you and the council have agreed they need.

The council pays us to help you, so our service is free to you.

Who we can support

We can support anyone who has a disabled child or children eligible for social care from the council.

If you already use Direct Payments

Get in touch with us and we can start helping you have more say over your child’s support. Do you have questions about anything relating to your Direct Payments? If so, you should contact our Advice Line for help and information.

Advice line hours

Monday to Friday between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Call 020 7001 2188 (Please leave a message if the line is busy)

Send an email to

Visit our offices at Jack Dash House, 2 Lawn House Close, E14 9YQ.

Support in your language

You can get support in Bengali/Sylhetti and Somali as well as English:

English  Monday – Friday

Bengali/Sylhetti   Monday and Thursday

Somali   Wednesday

If you don’t already use Direct Payments

There are some rules around who can get direct payments, so you need to talk to your child’s lead professional or social worker before you can apply.

They’ll meet with you to explain the rules and work out if you’re eligible. If you’d like us to come to this meeting and answer your questions as well, just ask the social worker to bring us with them.

Once the council has agreed you can get Direct Payments, we’ll get in touch as soon as possible to get everything started.

Contact the council’s Children with Disabilities Team on 020 7364 2724 or to apply for Direct Payments.

What people say about being an employer using Direct Payments

Here’s what some of our Direct Payments users have to say about being an employer for PAs for their children using a Direct Payment, with Real’s support:

“So it was extremely daunting when I started out as an employer. I got the right support and service and now I’m quite confident in doing the duties that I need to do”. 

“It’s very, very important to me to know where I can have information about my role (as an employer) and where I can get information and advice. Being a PA is a very sensitive job, so all the time I need, really, to get support, information and advice”.

Get more information

You can get more information on the council’s webpages about services for children with disabilities.

You can find out more about Direct Payments FAQs on our introductory page.

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