Self-directed Support: A Guide for Carers

A guide for Carers who are looking after someone who gets support from the local council.

Complaining, advice and information

If you aren't happy with your care assessment or anything else the Council has done, you can use their standard complaints procedure.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you may be able to go to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (

If you are not happy with the services you get from a provider that isn't the Council, you can complain directly to them. If they are registered with the Care Inspectorate, a complaint can be made to the Care Inspectorate (

If you aren't happy with the service provided by a self-employed individual, you will have to speak to them directly. The Scottish Personal Assistant Employers' Network (SPAEN - and other local support services can provide information and advice about this.

If you want to know more about guardianship or power of attorney, then the Office of the Public Guardian ( can give you further information.

Advice and information

Your local council might be able to give you details of local organisations that can provide help, information and advice. Your local carers' centre will also be able to give you information about support that is available to carers.

National Carer Organisations

Carers Trust Scotland (

Carers Trust Scotland is the largest provider of comprehensive carers support services in Scotland, reaching around 40,000 adult carers and more than 3,500 young carers (aged up to 18) from all groups and communities, through a unique network of independent carers' centres and young carers' services (Network Partners) throughout Scotland.

Carers Scotland (

Carers Scotland supports carers and provides information and advice about caring, influences policy through our research based on carers' real-life experiences, and campaigns to make life better for carers.

Coalition of Carers in Scotland (

The Coalition is a network of over 80 autonomous local carer-led groups, centres and projects. Members of the Coalition meet quarterly to share information and debate issues.

You can search for local organisations that can give advice and information using this website:

Crossroads Caring Scotland (

Crossroads Caring Scotland support carers in Scotland through the provision of respite care and other forms of practical support.

Shared Care Scotland (

Shared Care Scotland is a national charity that works to improve the quality, choice and availability of short break (respite care) provision across Scotland, for the benefit of carers and the people they care for. Their website has a Short Breaks Directory that can help you find a short break for you and/or the person you look after.

Minority Ethnic Carers of Older People Project (MECOPP -

MECOPP supports black and minority ethnic carers to access support and services appropriate to their caring situation.

Other organisations

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS)

SDSS is a national membership organisation which actively promotes Independent Living by supporting, working with and championing the aims of Self-directed Support disabled people's organisations. They raise awareness of SDS options among service providers and help them to deliver SDS options to service users.

Tel: 0131 516 4195

Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network (SPAEN)

The Scottish Personal Assistant Employers Network (SPAEN) is a Scotland-wide network for people seeking to become or already employing their own personal assistants to meet their assessed health and social care needs.

Tel: 0845 601 1156

Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland):

The OPG (Scotland) supervises the actions of those appointed through the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act to manage the property and financial affairs of adults who lack the capacity to carry out these functions for themselves. It also provides a wide range of advice and guidance on these matters.

Tel: 01324 678300


Email: Heather Palmer

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