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 2: Early Help, Family Support and Community Support

Standard descriptor: Early help, family support and community support are available to all people who need it.

Practice statement: Providers of early help, family support and community support offer approaches where everyone is welcome to have a conversation about what matters to them, and to identify solutions to improve wellbeing.

Core Components and practice guidance

2.1 Early help, family support and community support are available to meet a range of needs before becoming critical. This helps to maintain people’s independence and wellbeing, addressing loneliness and social isolation and helps people to feel connected.

How to:

  • These approaches can serve as a gateway into more formal assessment and access to services. However, these approaches should not be regarded as a replacement for registered statutory services when these are needed. Community solutions do require investment and ongoing commitment from all spheres of government.

2.2 Supports identified build on a person’s own strengths, talents and assets, wider family and natural networks, technological and digital supports and community resources.

How to:

  • Children, young people, families, supported people and carers are at the centre of conversations, and are treated as experts in identifying their own needs and what matters to them.

2.3 Early help, family support and community support give people and communities a voice, and support the trusting relationships that are needed to co-produce the care and support that people want.

How to:

  • Person- or family-based conversations should be ongoing as part of relationship-based practice.
  • Ongoing engagement about the benefits of, and investment in, early help, prevention and community support is required.

2.4 Early help and community support is creative and responsive, and is adaptive to changing circumstances.

How to:

  • Authorities and partnerships, people, carers, providers and communities build trusting relationships and maintain a dialogue to enable a rapid response when circumstances change.
  • All parties recognise how the range of support and services available within communities, including universal services or those with minimum referral criteria, allow people to access help and support at an early stage.



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