The aim of this DH guidance is to assist local councils in making direct payments. Together with the Annexes, it also provides guidance on how local councils might manage and administer direct payments. It replaces 'Direct payments guidance: community care, services for carers and children's services (Direct Payments) guidance' issued in 2003. The guidance has been updated to reflect recent legislative changes that extend direct payments to previously excluded groups. An impact assessment and equality impact assessment have been carried out.