Social care - self-directed support: framework of standards - May 2024

This framework consists of a set of standards for local authorities to provide them with an overarching structure, aligned to legislation and statutory guidance, for further implementation of the self-directed support approach to social care. This update includes standard descriptor and practice statement and core components and practice guidance.

Standard 5: Accountability

Standard descriptor: People’s legal rights are upheld, supported fully by the authority's processes. These include provision of accessible information, advocacy and mediation, the right to challenge a decision and to make a complaint.

Practice statement: Practice, policy and processes ensure that people’s legal rights are upheld including the right to challenge decisions which do not uphold their human rights or which affect their experience of social care support. Relationship-based practice provides opportunities for the voices of children, young people, families, supported people and carers to be heard including constructive feedback which informs learning and improvement.

Core Components and practice guidance

5.1 Organisational cultures of respect and trust support relationship-based practice and allow people to engage with practitioners and services easily and meaningfully.

How to:

  • Leaders create the conditions for a respectful and trusting culture within their organisations, including a positive environment for challenge and learning.
  • Leaders recognise and allow the time it takes to build trust.
  • Mediation is supported, facilitated and welcomed at all parts of the process.

5.2 People have the right to be heard and should be supported to query and challenge decisions throughout their assessment, planning and review processes, including decisions about outcomes.

How to:

  • People are made aware of their human rights so they can challenge decisions on that basis.
  • There are transparent and supportive processes for people to challenge and appeal all decisions which affect their experience of social care support.
  • People are supported to challenge decisions which do not uphold their human rights, including escalating complaints to the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), the Care Inspectorate and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

5.3 Local authorities actively seek constructive feedback from people as opportunities for learning and ongoing improvement.

How to:

  • Systems of accountability are designed to promote responsibility, to protect people using services and form the basis of trusted relationships.
  • There is an easy process in place for people to give feedback about their experiences.

5.4 Local authority appeals and complaints processes are easy and transparent for people to make appeals and complaints about their Self-directed Support.

How to:

  • There are easy and transparent processes in place for making an appeal or a complaint.
  • Local authority complaints processes are compliant with Self-directed Support legislation, values and principles, and Equalities and Human Rights legislation.



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