We have local teams based in a number of Local Authority areas where we are working under a block contract. Currently, these are:
Our services in the above areas are normally free of charge to the individual because The Rowan Organisation is paid by the Local Authority.
Where this is not the case, for example you are self-funding or have been awarded a Personal Budget or Personal Health Care Budget, then we have to charge the individual direct (see Price List below).
We can also offer services in other areas (depending on your location), where there is no contracted support service and you are free to choose who helps you with your Personal Budget. This includes Nottingham City and County, Sheffield and Gloucester. For more information on the services that we can provide in your area, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
In these cases, we will need to make a charge for our services. More information on our wide range of services can be found on our Price List.
Our range of services includes:
We offer both national and local levels of support, giving you the choice of receiving support over the telephone or face to face in the comfort of your own home.
We have local teams of Independent Living Advisers in many counties,who are locally based and who are able to offer a range of high quality information and support. If you live outside of our contracted areas, you can still access our Information Service and we may be able to offer ILA support; please contact us for more information.
Our advisers are fully trained and committed to empowering you. They will offer you high quality support based around your individual needs.
The type and level of support depends upon your requirements and what has been agreed with you. Examples include:
In some areas, we also have Account Support Workers (ASWs) who work alongside ILAs to help you manage your Direct Payment/Personal Budget account.
ASWs can support you with accounts, monitoring forms and returns. They can help you work out how much to pay your staff and calculate any changes relating to, for example, holiday entitlement, rates of pay etc. In those areas where Account Support Workers do not operate, our ILAs can support you in this way instead.
Once your Direct Payments are set up, our goal is to enable you to manage them without you needing ongoing support if possible. However, if you need support at any time while you are receiving Direct Payments, this can be provided either by an ILA or through the Information Service.
We offer a Payroll Service for people who employ their own staff. This is provided by our fully trained, highly committed payroll team.
You will be allocated to a dedicated, named payroll adviser who can provide peace of mind and assurance in dealing with all your payroll requirements.
Our Payroll Service can:
The service is provided on a pay per payslip basis and the cost to you will depend upon what has been agreed in your local authority area.
We will discuss your specific requirements and draw up an individual agreement with you.
You can contact the payroll service by phone, email, SMS text (to 07946 384513), fax or minicom.
The Rowan Organisation has a central Information Service, which supports the whole of the organisation. If you are looking for information and advice and would like to speak to someone in confidence, you can call our team of friendly, professional Information and Advice Officers who will answer your query in a timely and professional manner.
The service is available to service users, members of the public, social workers, Rowan advisers, voluntary groups and other organisations.
It has three main functions:
We provide telephone and email support to people seeking information or advice on Direct Payments, Personal Budgets and associated issues, employing personal assistants and other disability-related queries.
We can provide information about Direct Payments or Personal Budgets to those who are thinking about receiving them or who are just starting out. We can advise you on the requirements of becoming an employer and managing your personal assistants.
We can provide you with support on a range of issues if you are already receiving Direct Payments or a Personal Budget, including matters relating to employment legislation. If we find that we are unable to help resolve the issue, we can arrange for a local adviser to visit you if required.
We have access to a wealth of information and will also research queries that we can't immediately answer. If we are unable to assist, we will signpost callers to the relevant person or organisation.
We have a range of resources available on Direct Payments and Personal Budgets, including leaflets, factsheets, this website and our newsletter, "Directions".
We strive to make our information accessible to all, and can provide much of our standard information in large print, plain text, pictures and words, braille, audio CD or cassette and in some different languages. We also have a DVD on Direct Payments which uses British Sign Language, subtitles and a voice over commentary. Please contact us for more information.
Some of the issues that arise around Direct Payments, Personal Budgets and the associated legislation can be quite complex. One aim of the Information Service is to provide high quality, accessible information about such issues. In order to achieve this, we continually undertake research and develop information on Direct Payments/Personal Budgets and the relevant legislation.
We work closely with each of our local teams to ensure we stay up to date with changes relating to Independent Living Schemes. We also provide information to the local teams to ensure they are updated with changes to legislation and wider issues relating to Independent Living. We constantly strive to ensure that the advice we provide is accurate and of a high quality.
If you feel that we can help you with your query, please do get in touch by phone, E-Mail or via the Feedback Form on this site.
If you decide to employ your own staff, you can use our Recruitment Line service, with or without support from an ILA.
Once you have drawn up adverts and job descriptions and placed the adverts, you can access this service. Your vacancy will be advertised on our website and Jobcentre plus. If you are not currently or don't wish to receive support from an ILA you can still access the Recruitment Line, who will send you guidance relating to advertising, writing job descriptions and interviewing. However, if you are unsure of certain wording or the legal content of you advert, you can contact the Recruitment Line on 0845 602 4614, who will try to assist.
Because the vacancies appear on our website, applicants are able to download an online application form and send their applications by email to the Recruitment Line. The Recruitment Line will then forward all applications to you by email (or post if requested) for you to decide who to invite to interview. This helps to save you time and to safeguard your privacy.
When you employ someone, it is important to check their suitability, especially if they are going to work with children. However, an individual who employs people using Direct Payments isn't legally entitled to ask applicants about any past or "spent" convictions.
In order to find out whether the candidate is suitable, a Disclosure and Barring Services Check can be done. This check looks at all criminal convictions and checks to make sure that the applicant isn't banned from working with anyone.
Most local authorities provide a DBS (formerly CRB) check for Direct Payments users who will be employing someone to work with children or vulnerable adults.
In those areas where your local Social Services is unable to provide this service, the Rowan Organisation can act as a vetting agency as it is registered as such with the Disclosure and Barring Service. This means that we are able to carry out a DBS check on your behalf. In providing this service we are not legally empowered to discuss the details of any convictions with you, but we can provide a ‘yes or no answer' regarding the suitability of your candidate. There is a charge for this service, which can normally be paid for out of your Direct Payments.
Please contact your local authority for details on how to apply for a check or to find out whether you can use the Rowan Organisation to perform a DBS check on your behalf.
In line with our philosophy and commitment to empowerment, we support to you to manage your Direct Payment/Personal Budget independently. However, we recognise that this may be difficult for some people for a variety of reasons. The Rowan Organisation can offer a managed account to you if you need this service.
Some people may choose to have managed account, not because of any difficulty but because this is how they wish to operate their Direct Payment/Personal Budget. The Rowan Organisation can also offer a managed account in this circumstance.
The Rowan Organisation manages the finances whilst you remain in charge of the services you receive and the way in which your services are delivered.
Following discussion with you or the Local Authority, all agreed outgoings will be paid by the Rowan Organisation on your behalf. This can include invoices for agencies or day services, wage payments to your PAs, payments for your Employers Liability Insurance, HMRC payments etc.
We have a separate bank account in the name of the Rowan Organisation for processing Direct Payments/Personal Budgets/ILF money. We maintain an accounting system that enables us to produce a statement of Receipts and Payments for each individual. A statement of account is provided to service users and/or the Local Authority as required.
Currently, some Local Authorities prefer to pay for the managed account separately on behalf of the service user whereas others have included the payment within the Direct Payment/Pesonal Budget itself.
We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your requirements and how we can support you. Please do not hesitate to contact us.