Support Brokerage

Support Brokerage 

A History 

Support Brokerage originated in Canada in the 1970’s when a group of families approached their local authority to request a greater level of input and control over planning the support their children needed.

They requested to be given control over the funding that the local authority had for building and delivering a service to their children.

These families asked for the opportunity for a better life and to be given the chance to consider how to use the funding in a different way to achieve this in the heart of their communities.

Support Brokerage came into existence as a family-led, community-based initiative.

Support Brokerage has continued to evolve since the 1970s through numerous campaigning bodies, guidance documents and acts of parliament and is now a crucial component of Self Directed Support.

What is a Support Broker?

Support Brokers act as independent guides to people, supporting them to plan to live the life of their choice.  They work directly for the person; supporting them to stay in control. to have a full range of choice and to achieve their outcomes.

Listed below are some of the functions of a Broker:

  • To provide relevant and timely information, advice and guidance.
  • To signpost people effectively, with a follow up to check on the outcome.
  • Assist in the development of a persons Person Centred Plan.
  • Assist in the development of a persons Support Plan
  • Develop the budget of a Support Plan or a Person Centred Plan.
  • Identify and apply for funding from all government and non-government sources.
  • Assist with local authority based funding negotiations.
  • Conduct research covering a broad range of topics including funding, resources and community based opportunities.
  • Identify and support a person to access community resources and to make connections within the persons chosen community.
  • Direct liaison and negotiation with service providers – working with them to achieve an approach that is right for the person.
  • To mediate and resolve problems.
  • Support to implement the person centred plan/support plan, including recruitment of Support Workers or PAs.

Who can be a Support Broker?

  • Self Brokerage – A person may fulfil some of the Support Brokerage functions themselves.
  • Community Based Brokerage – A persons family, friends or members of the persons community may fulfil some of the Support Brokerage functions.
  • Peer Brokerage – Someone with lived experience may fulfil the Support Brokerage function with the person in an unpaid or paid basis.
  • Volunteer Support Brokers – This is someone who is prepared to fulfil the Support Brokerage on a voluntary basis.  Volunteer Support Brokers can come from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
  • Paid Support Brokerage – Someone who is fulfilling the role of Support Brokerage in a paid capacity.  Paid Support Brokers usually offer a level of expertise and experience.
  • Provider Based Support Brokerage – A Support Broker that is employed by the Local Authority, a Clinical Commissioning Group or a service provider, which is often the case for providers who offer Individual Service Funds

Further information about Support Brokerage

Support Brokers are accountable to the people they work for, providing assistance as each person requires, and on the basis each person requires, from the range of functions that fall within the scope of what a Support Broker can do.

Support Brokers have no statutory authority to make decisions, they have no right to determine or veto a plan or an element of a plan, or to talk to other people (e.g. care managers, support workers) to get or share information about the person they are working for, without the consent of that person (or, where necessary, the consent of the family on their behalf).

This also implies that the social care and health system cannot impose a requirement on Support Brokers to report back to other professionals, such as care managers.

Brokerage management

Brokerage Management

The role of the Support Broker does not extend beyond the agreement or the implementation of the Support Plan. Some people will need continuing help with implementation of their Support Plan, this could include; financial administration, recruiting  and managing their support workers.  This function is called ‘Brokerage Management’ These are different roles and are best kept separate from the Support Brokers input. There are a number of reasons;

  • Firstly, it helps to define the Support Brokerage input clearly, with a definite start and finish point. (People should, of course, be free to enter into a fresh contract with the Support Broker later on, if they wish.)
  • Secondly, the different areas of Brokerage are likely to require different ‘skill mixes’.
  • Thirdly, there are potential conflicts of interest if the roles are combined in one person (and possibly even in one agency).
  • And finally, there is the practical problem that if the Support Broker stay involved indefinitely their resources will rapidly be used up.

At Imagineer we do offer support to people who are looking for ongoing help after the implementation of their Support Plan and information about this can be found under the section titled ‘Brokerage Management’.  This service was developed to respond to an increasing number of requests we were receiving.

The National Brokerage Network provides a support structure for those pursuing Support Brokerage as part of their offer.

Here is a video story about the difference Support Brokerage has made.

Here is Monica’s story about how Support Brokerage helped her.

Here is Daisy story about how Support Brokerage helped her.

Here is Jason’s story about how Support Brokerage helped him.


Working with Imagineer as your Support Broker

  • Support Brokers at Imagineer are accredited through the National Brokerage Network.
  • We charge between £30.00 per hour to £45 per hour dependent on the skill set and experience of the Broker.
  • We we will work you to make the best of the funding available for our input as Support Brokers.

If you choose Imagineer to work with you as your independent Support Broker we will first spend time with you discussing what you are looking to achieve and the input that you would like from the team at Imagineer.  We will then write this up into a Working Party Agreement which is an informal document which sets expectations, time frames and costs.

At Imagineer we are not bound to paperwork and have a very clear focus on you and working with you, doing what needs to be done to support you to get to where you want to be.

We will utilise all our knowledge, skills and connections to support you to move forward.


Telephone: 01422 363817


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