Self-directed Support: Practitioners Guidance

A practice guide on Self-directed Support for practitioners


This guide, developed by ADSW, confirms the new duties in the Act for practitioners. The objective is to affirm the value of current best practice in outcomes-focused assessment and support planning and to show how the new duties enhance the opportunities to practice within a clear value base which is supported through statute.

This practitioner guidance has been developed reflecting the views and experiences of people who use services and guided by operational practitioners working in various frontline contexts. This was a condition laid down by the Scottish Government. It is a testimony to the value with which frontline views are held and their central role in turning the rhetoric of self-directed support into a reality.

It is recognised that the local arrangements which provide the framework for the delivery of self-directed support will vary considerably – from screening processes; how and when budgets are agreed; the type and range of options available, especially in rural and remote areas, and so on. In light of this, the guidance has taken a broad overview to provide enough scope for tailoring advice to specific requirements.

Some elements of the statutory guidance and regulations will not be in place until nearer the implementation date. It is not anticipated that this will compromise the usefulness of this document. However, it has meant that some elements of self-directed support practice requirements cannot be fully explained. More guidance will be provided once options within residential care are explored and when aspects of children in need, under S22, are further considered.

The document is broad in its scope and will require to be amended as the elements of the approach are tried and tested. This is particularly pertinent in relation to procurement and commissioning arrangements and how individual service funds will work in practice.

The online version of this guidance will be the vehicle for reflecting progress through updates and additional case examples. This guidance is one of a suite of planned, supportive documents that includes guidance for users and carers and providers and also national training modules. The SSSC, supported by the Scottish Government, is also driving change through the new ‘Workforce Development Strategy’ in partnership with councils, providers, carers and user organisations which will run until 2015.

Together – nationally and locally, across and through the organisations and sectors – but most importantly in partnership with people who may need support and their carers – we can make a better future for Scotland.


Email: Heather Palmer

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