A Guide to the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 - Easy Read
First published April 2014, Updated October 2022
Self-directed Support (SDS) is for everyone in Scotland who needs social care services or support. This includes children, adults and unpaid carers. This Guide explains what local authorities should do to make sure that people are able to get the support that is right for them.
A local authority is an organisation that is in charge of providing services for the part of Scotland where you live. The law says that local authorities should:
- Treat supported people with dignity and respect at all times.
- Offer the four SDS options and explain what each of them mean and how they will meet the person's needs. This must be explained in a balanced and fair way.
- Make sure that supported people are involved in decisions about their care and support.
- Make sure that supported people have enough information to understand what is available and make the choices which are right for them.
- Make sure that supported people have the chance to ask questions about any part of their support. They must also be given enough time and information to understand and be part of decisions about their support, particularly when it is being stopped or changed.
How should SDS work for the supported person?
There are four main options or ways of directing support. When making these choices, a supported person can choose to have lots of direct control over their care and support. They can choose to leave most of the decisions and work to the local authority. Or they can choose a mix of these.
Option 1 – the supported person gets a direct payment.
The local authority will decide how much money they will give to the supported person towards their support. The supported person receives this money and uses it to arrange their own support. This can include employing staff and/or buying goods and services.
The supported person has full choice and control and also has the most responsibility for arranging support, which may include being an employer. You can ask your local authority how it makes these decisions.
Option 2 – the supported person decides what support they want and it is arranged for them.
The local authority will decide how much money they will give to the supported person towards their support. You can ask your local authority how it makes these decisions.
The supported person can choose how they want the money spent. Then the support is arranged for them by the local authority or an organisation chosen by the supported person. The supported person has full choice and control over how their support is arranged but does not have to manage the money.
Option 3 – after talking with the supported person, the local authority decides and arranges support.
The local authority will decide how much money can be spent. The supported person asks the local authority to choose and arrange the support that it thinks is right for them. You can ask your local authority how it makes these decisions.
The supported person is not responsible for arranging support, and has less choice and control over how support is arranged.
Option 4 – the supported person uses a mixture of ways to arrange their care and support.
Some people will want to have direct control of how some parts of their support is arranged but not other parts. This option lets the supported person pick the parts they want to have direct control over and what parts they want to leave to the local authority.
SDS planning, budgets and systems
Social workers and the supported person should work together to make a plan for the person's care and support. They will agree on what the supported person wants to see happen in their life. The plan will help the person work towards this, and should be reviewed regularly.
The local authority should make sure that supported people have enough money for what has been agreed in the plan. Supported people should be involved in decisions about their SDS budget and be able to use it to get what is most important to them.
Both the person and the local authority should use the money in the best way possible.
The local authority should make sure people get support at the right time, before problems happen.
The local authority should make sure that social workers help supported people to have control and choice.
The local authority should make decisions that are fair and easy to understand. Information about how decisions are made should be available to anyone who wants it.
The local authority should also make sure that people who need support are not disadvantaged for any reason, including where they come from, their way of life, or where they live.
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