Self Directed Support - The Good Care Group

Self Directed Support

The Scottish Parliament passed the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 so individuals who are eligible for social care support can get greater choice and control over how they receive these services. This means care services can be ‘personalised’ to your individual needs and wishes.

What is Self Directed Support?

Self Directed Support is a way of providing social care support that empowers individuals to have informed choice about how support is provided to them.  This money can be paid to the individual, after a social work assessment to determine their support needs, to allow them to decide who provides them with support and how this support is delivered.  This might be a mixture of community or natural support – that is, from your family, local council, carer or provider organisation – and funded support.

Who is entitled to Self Directed Support?

You are entitled to Self Directed Support if you receive support services from the local council, community support services, housing support services or children’s services. This includes individuals with mental-health conditions.

How is it paid?

The Local Authority will pay the funds in one of four ways:

Option 1 – a direct payment, which is a payment to an individual or third party to purchase their own support

Option 2 – the individual directs the available support and the council pay for the support directly

Option 3 – the local council arranges the support

Option 4 – a mix of the above

What can Self Directed Support be used for?

Self-directed support can be used in many ways – like help with having a bath, or getting washed and dressed – as long as it meets your agreed outcomes. It can also mean providing the individual with any necessary adaptations or equipment which might help them.

Individuals may wish to use some of their budget to help them go to college, support going to work or supporting them to take up a job. There are options to choose to pursue a new hobby instead of using a day centre, or arrange for a personal assistant to help join groups in their local community. The budget can also be used to take a short break. Individuals are using their money for lots of different things, but it’s important that these things are helping them meet their agreed outcomes.

Individuals can choose to get support by:

  • using a service provider, like a voluntary organisation
  • using council services
  • employing a personal assistant
  • a combination of all of these

Further information

Self-directed Support in Scotland is a one-stop-shop for information on self-directed support.

The Scottish Government has guidance for carers on self-directed support.

The Scottish Government’s Guide to Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 tells you about the law on self-directed support.

Read the Self-directed Support (Direct Payments) (Scotland) Regulations 2014.

Read the Scottish Government’s Personal Assistant Employer’s Handbook if you’re thinking of using Option 1 – a direct payment becoming a personal assistant employer.

Age Scotland gives older people information and advice, phone their helpline on 0800 12 44 222.

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