You can choose who cares for you at home yourself, even if you get financial help from us for your support.

You have the option to get any council financial help paid to you directly. Find out about getting direct payments so that you, not the council, choose your care.

Get an idea if direct payments could be for you

If you want to choose care and support at home and can look after money, direct payments could be for you.

If you do not want the responsibility of arranging your support, direct payments are not for you. Talk to your social care worker about getting care arranged for you.

Direct payments are only available for care in your home, not in a care home. They mean you do not have to use the care companies Dorset Council uses.

You can get more of an idea how direct payments work by speaking to your social care worker if you have one. You can also find out more about direct payments from Skills for Care.

Get an idea of what direct payments give you

If you get money for support as a direct payment, you can:

  • become an employer so you can choose any carer and can build a relationship with them
  • deal with any agencies or self-employed carers yourself, using the ones you prefer

You can get guidance on becoming an employer. But being an employer is not for everybody. It means you have legal responsibilities.

Get financial help with care as direct payments

If you want financial help as a direct payment, take these steps.

  1. Get us to look at your care and support needs.
  2. If you have care needs, tell us about your money coming in, assets and costs. You may have to pay something towards your care.
  3. If you will get financial help for support, ask your social care worker for direct payments.
  4. We will talk to you to find out if direct payments are for you.
  5. Decide whether to use a care company or make your own agreement with a carer.
  6. Find out how to choose between different companies or carers.
  7. Find out how to take on a carer as your employee if you decide this.
  8. Speak to the organisation we point you to, who will guide you along the way.
  9. In all cases, keep receipts of your spending. We will ask to see your records after the first 6 months. The money you have to put in is spent first. 

See how to choose care and support yourself

If you get financial help for your care as direct payments, you need to look for care and support yourself.

You can get support from:

  • care agencies, who provide a number of carers
  • self-employed independent carers (micro-providers)
  • independent carers looking for employment

Look for people who provide care in the home (Help & Kindness).

Before you talk to care companies, make sure you know all your options and be clear about what you want. Read about doing interviews and what to ask in an interview.

Find out how to take on a carer as your employee

You can employ a carer yourself. This can be a way to have carers you feel are right for you.

It does mean you have to follow laws for employers. We will arrange for you to talk to an advisor to help you with being a good employer.

The advisor will help you to:

  1. Set up as an employer.
  2. Advertise for a carer.
  3. Interview carers.
  4. Choose a carer.
  5. Sign a contract.
  6. Set up payroll.
  7. Keep records.

Find more advice on how to:

Share this page