Section 1: Introduction
1. This document contains statutory guidance issued by Scottish Ministers under Section 5 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. Under statutory guidance the professional must have regard to the guidance when discharging their role. They must follow both the letter and the spirit of the guidance. They must not depart from the guidance without good reason.
2. The guidance elaborates on a variety of powers and duties contained within the social care legislation. It attempts to translate those powers and duties into practical advice to professionals. The majority of legal powers and duties described within the guidance will fall to local authorities. However, a Health Board may discharge social care duties on a delegated basis. Where this is the case, the Health Board (and professionals acting on the Board's behalf) will be obliged to have regard to this guidance. In addition the guidance contains a section on the role of healthcare professionals, clarifying their contribution to social care assessment and support. This reflects the importance of healthcare and social care professionals working in partnership to conduct joint assessments and set up jointly funded packages of support.
3. Beyond health and social care professionals, the guidance should be of interest to a range of other groups and individuals. This will include those who use care and support or may use it in future, carers, providers, regulatory and inspection agencies - in short, any person or organisation involved in care and support now and in the future.
The topics covered in this guidance
4. The guidance deals with a variety of matters related to social care assessment and the provision of social care and support. There are four main legal reference points. The first is Section 12A of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 which provides the duty on authorities to assess an adult's need for care and support. The second is Sections 22 and 23 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 ("the 1995 Act") - the legal basis for support to children. The third is the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 ("the 2013 Act") - the legal basis for choice over care and support. The final reference point is Section 12AA of the 1968 Act, section 24 of the 1995 Act and the accompanying Section 3 of the 2013 Act - the basis for the assessment of and support to, carers.
Statement of intent
5. The guidance focuses on the duties and powers within the 2013 Act. However the scope of the guidance goes beyond the 2013 Act to cover a wide range of duties and powers in relation to assessment, support planning and review. This recognises that care and support provision - and choice and control over that provision - plays a key role in helping to deliver independent living for disabled people.
Self-directed Support: Statement of Intent
Independent living means disabled people of all ages having the same freedom, choice, dignity and control as other citizens at home, at work, and in the community. It does not mean living by yourself, or fending for yourself. It means rights to practical assistance and support to participate in society and live an ordinary life. This is the definition of independent living developed by disabled people and adopted, in the strategic approach to independent living, by the Scottish Government, COSLA, the NHS and the Disabled People's Independent Living Movement.
Without care and support, and the opportunity to direct their support, many disabled people would not be able to participate in society and live an ordinary life. They would not be able to live free from discrimination and harassment as promoted by the Equality Act 2010, to enjoy their human rights nor contribute to a wealthier and fairer, healthier, safer and stronger, smarter and greener Scotland.
Self-directed support , alongside many other policies, is intended to support, promote and protect the human rights and independent living of care and support users in Scotland. It aims to ensure that care and support is delivered in a way that supports choice and control over one's own life and which respects the person's right to participate in society.
Further information and contacts
6. This guidance provides a starting point. It is up to professionals and individuals to deliver its aims. At the end of each section you will find links to further information, additional publications and contact details. In time, the statutory guidance will be joined by further best practice guides. You can also contact the Scottish Government at:
Self-directed Support Team
Adult Care and Support Division
Health and Social Care Integration
St. Andrew's House
Edinburgh EH1 3DG
Telephone: 0131 244 5455
Further guidance and hyperlinks:
Christie Commission (2011) Commission on the future delivery of public services
Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services, Self-directed support: preparing for delivery
Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services, Legislation relevant to social services in Scotland
Scottish Government (2010) Self-directed support: A National Strategy for Scotland
Scottish Government (2012) Charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities
Scottish Government, Independent Living in Scotland, COSLA and NHS Scotland (2013) Our Shared Vision for Independent Living in Scotland
The Knowledge Network - Implementing Self-directed Support - Personalisation - Human Rights Issues
Further links (including a guide to professionals, user's guide and carer's guide) to follow.
Email: Adam Milne