Coronavirus (COVID-19) self-directed support: guidance - 11 March 2022

Version 4 of guidance on self-directed support during the coronavirus pandemic published on 11 March 2022.

Context and background

This guidance was originally produced in May 2020, during the first peak of the pandemic. While flexibility and choice should always be promoted as an integral part of the SDS approach, this guidance focuses on the changing circumstances of the pandemic, and how SDS can be used flexibly in response to the pandemic circumstances. It includes specific information about how supported people can act as employers of Personal Assistants (PAs), and employers of family or friends as Personal Assistants. This update also includes the use of the existing powers found in section 12A(5) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968. This allows local authorities to provide or arrange for the provision of support without the need for a prior assessment where a local authority considers that the need for services is a matter of urgency.

This guidance is for Local Authority and Health & Social Care Partnership staff working in adult and children's services, including Social Workers, Social Care workers and SDS Leads. It is also relevant to Finance Officers, Commissioning Contracts, Legal and Audit Teams, who assess, approve and administer social work and social care and support (including carer support), and approve SDS budgets.

This guidance is also useful for anyone involved in supporting, providing and receiving social care support. This includes supported people, PA Employers, PAs, Independent Advice and Support organisations, Centres for Inclusive Living, advocacy organisations, Community Brokerage, payroll providers, care and support providers.

The aim of this guidance is to ensure supported people have flexibility of choice over how they manage their SDS budgets to meet their personal outcomes. This guidance also enables Local Authorities and Health & Social Care Partnerships to maximise flexibility of spend, to ensure people can develop their support arrangements to meet their personal outcomes in a way that works for them.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with the SDS Framework of Standards, Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and the SDS statutory guidance.

This SDS guidance does not relate to:

This SDS guidance document relates solely to social care support funded by Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships.

Any recommendations made in this SDS guidance do not seek to supersede any legislation or other legal obligations, which may regulate any relevant parties to the SDS guidance. Recommendations are intended to offer additional operational support in line with legislative responsibility. Where there is a reference in this SDS guidance to any legislation or statutory guidance, given the law can quickly change (perhaps before guidance is updated), users of this SDS guidance should check that those references are up to date and seek independent advice in appropriate circumstances



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