There are various options available to you when you receive Direct Payments and it is important to think through how you will keep yourself, and others you live with, safe.
Keeping Safe and Employing Personal Assistants
You may be thinking about employing your own Personal Assistant (PA). It is important to take certain steps to try to make sure that there isn’t any threat to you from other people who may harm you.
We strongly advise you to have help and advice from Penderels Trust, the support organisation, if you decide to have a PA. This service is free to you. They will give you all the advice you need at each stage of employing your own PA.
If you choose not to use the support organisation to give you advice, there are a number of important things we would ask you to think about to keep yourself safe when you advertise and meet possible staff to see if they are suitable:
- Do not put your home address, telephone number, or details about yourself on the job advert.
- You may wish to enquire if Jobcentre Plus will advertise for you. They have their own process which will help you to stay safe, or you can perhaps use a mailbox number.
- Make sure you ask for two written job references from the people you interview and follow them up.
- When you interview people, do it away from your home address if you can and have someone with you to support you.
- You must comply with employment legislation and Warwickshire County Council strongly advises you have support to do this.
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)
Penderels Trust can carry out a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check on the person you want to employ. We ask that you consider this when you employ your own staff. You can pay for this from your Direct Payment money.
If there is a child in the house under the age of 16, then a DBS check is essential and this will be carried out by the allocated team, who will support with this and pay the cost of the DBS.
DBS checks can be portable on annual payment of a fee. The DBS Update Service lets you keep your DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate status at any time.
This system means that whenever an employee starts work with a new employer or contractor, rather than applying for a brand new DBS Certificate, the employer can go to the DBS website to confirm if anything has changed on their record since their last certificate.
There is a registration fee for the DBS Update Service and applicants must renew their registration annually.
Keeping Safe and Using a Registered Agency
If you choose to use an agency, the law says that care agencies providing personal care must be registered with the Care Quality Commission. For further information you can contact Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 03000 616161 or visit their CQC website . Warwickshire County Council strongly advises that you only use an agency that is registered.
Find out more about things to think about when using an agency.
Keeping Safe with Prepaid cards
If you are using a prepaid card, please keep this safe as you would your own bank card or cash.
Only you and your nominated person should know the password and PIN to the card. DO NOT give it to anybody else.
Remember – always ask for help if you think you need it.