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.

The Self-directed Support Framework of Standards

Statutory guidance on the provision of social care support, and related processes was originally published in 2014 to accompany the 2013 Act, and was updated in 2022. It is issued to local authorities in order to provide relevant guidance and to reflect the duties and powers of the 2013 Act. The aim of the statutory guidance is to help duty-bearers within the relevant authorities to fulfil their duties under the 2013 Act. The Guidance is intended to be a starting point for training and good practice.

Evidence[1] on the inconsistent implementation of Self-directed Support and a need to ensure those responsible for enabling access to SDS are supported with the skills and knowledge to carry out their duties, led to publication of the Self-directed Support Framework of Standards (referred to as the Framework) in 2021, supplemented in 2022. The Framework, with twelve standards, and accompanying practice statements and core components, was designed to align with the Self-directed Support statutory guidance to support system change, implementation, practice and consistency of outcomes experienced by supported people (children and adults) and unpaid carers across Scotland. The Standards are not in themselves statutory, but aim to support best practice and demonstrate what good Self-directed Support implementation looks like. At the time of publication, there was a commitment to review and revise the Framework within the first three years.

In light of recent evidence on the implementation of Self-directed Support (including the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in 2021, the Care Inspectorate thematic report in 2019 and Audit Scotland report in 2017), the Self-directed Support Statutory Guidance was updated in October 2022 with the intention to support improved implementation and practice. It highlights the flexibility of existing legislation and regulations, incorporates the Self-directed Support Framework of Standards and emphasises the importance of enabling choice, autonomy, good conversations, and a mature and positive approach to risk enablement and risk management.

The Statutory Guidance affirms that Self-directed Support is the way that social care must be delivered in Scotland for children, adults, those in transition to adulthood and carers, and that authorities must take reasonable steps to uphold the rights of supported people and carers as described in the statutory principles. The update also incorporates policy and legislative changes relevant to the delivery of Self-directed Support which have taken place since the 2013 Act came into force including the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 and the guidance on Self-directed Support during the COVID-19 pandemic.



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