Social care support

Social care support is about supporting people to:

  • live independently
  • be active citizens
  • participate and contribute to our society
  • maintain their dignity and human rights

We are committed to supporting people to stay at home or in a homely setting with maximum independence, for as long as possible. We also aim to retain the right people to work in social care support and social work and to raise the status of social care as a profession.

More information is in the following sections: 

Free personal and nursing care

Free personal and/or nursing care is available to all adults in Scotland who have been assessed by the local authority as eligible for these services. 

Information about our policy on unpaid carers is in a separate page.

Background information about the extension of free personal care for adults aged under 65 is in our website archive.

In Scotland there are items in non-personal care, and for residential care, that are charged for. More information is in the following sections. For details about charges in your area, contact your local Health and Social Care Partnership.

Care homes

Coronavirus (COVID-19): see our collection of guidance for adult care homes.

Care homes are places where people can live in a homely setting and have their needs met by trained staff.

We provide funding for Care Information Scotland (CIS) which gives information on care and support services for older people.

The Care Inspectorate is the national regulator for care services in Scotland.

Revised guidance on charging for residential accommodation (CCD 1/2021) is on the SEHD website.

More information about care and care services is on the website.

Unpaid care

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 puts in place a system of carers’ rights designed to listen to carers, make support more consistent between areas, and to prevent problems – helping to protect carers’ health and well-being. More information on unpaid care.

Ordinary residences

A local authority can recover the costs of providing services to a person 'ordinarily resident' in another local authority. Normally the local authority in which a person is ordinarily resident is financially responsible for the community care services for that person.

Where disputes arise, local authorities can apply to Scottish Ministers for a determination of ordinary residence when all other attempts at resolution have failed.

We have published guidance and templates relating to ordinary determinations.

We publish anonymised ordinary residence determinations to show the approach taken to making a determination.

Information about our policy on benefits for carers is in our social security page.