Self-directed support is designed to ensure people are given a range of options for how their social care is delivered, empowering people to decide how much ongoing control and responsibility they want over their own support arrangements, beyond just direct payments.
Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013
The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, which came into force on 1 April 2014, requires local authorities in Scotland to offer people four choices on how they can get their social care. The choices are:
- Option 1: direct payment
- Option 2: the person directs the available support
- Option 3: the local authority arranges the support
- Option 4: a mix of the above.
Other provisions in the Act include a power to authorities to support unpaid carers and duties on authorities to give information to help them make an informed choice.
The Act followed publication of the Scottish Government's 10-year National Strategy for Self-directed Support in Scotland in November 2010.
The Scottish Government has published a range of guidance documents to accompany the legislation:
- Statutory guidance to accompany the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2014
- Statutory guidance to accompany section 3 of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and the Carers (Waiving of Charges for Support) (Scotland) Regulations 2014
- Personal Assistant Employers Handbook
- Personal Assistant Employers Handbook (Easy Read)
- Practitioner's Guidance on Self-Directed Support
The Scottish Government has also published Carer’s Assessments (Scotland) Directions 2014, to accompany the Act. The document provides guidelines for local authorities to establish the circumstances where a carer is deemed to be providing ‘substantial’ support to an individual, assessing the effects on a carer’s mental health, and taking the age of a carer into account.
Providers and Personalisation has published a Guide to the Social Care (Self-directed Support)(Scotland) Act 2013 and how it applies to different groups and services. The guide explains how SDS should apply to different groups, including children and young people, and highlights the role of commissioning in supporting sustainability for different types of support and services under SDS.
Also see the new Self-directed Support Library on The Hub.
Statement of Values and Principles
The Scottish Government has published a statement of values and principles underpinning the Self-directed Support (SDS) strategy and legislation. The statement is intended to influence local practice in a positive way.
The values are:
- Freedom; and
The principles are:
- Informed choice;
- Responsibility; and
- Risk enablement.
An easy read version has also been published.
National Implementation Plan
In June 2019, the Scottish Government launched a self-directed support Implementation Plan for 2019 - 2021. The plan sets out the actions that public and voluntary organisations will take to support authorities to build on their progress towards more flexible and responsive social care support, co-produced with communities and supported people.
A selection of resources that explain what SDS is, people’s stories, assessment and support planning tools as well as resources to influence commissioning and procurement practice to make SDS truly mainstream across Scotland
Guidance in relation to the recruitment of staff working in social care, early education and childcare and social work settings
The Health and Social Care Standards set out what we should expect when using health, social care or social work services in Scotland
Latest Adult and Health Bulletin
A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments in adult social care and health
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Latest Children and Young People Bulletin
A weekly bulletin produced by our policy team providing an update on the key developments concerning children and young people