Self-directed Support Strategy 2010-2020: Implementation Plan 2016-2018

This implementation plan renews the vision for self-directed support and sets out actions to address current challenges.


"People must be empowered to make choices and have greater control over their lives. Our shared journey to creative and flexible support has started, but we need to continue to work together to make this a reality for everyone."

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport

What is Self-directed Support?

Self-directed Support allows people, carers and families to make informed choices about what their social care support is and how it is delivered. It aims to empower people to be equal partners in their care and support decisions and to participate in education, work and social life.

Local authorities have a legal duty to offer people who are eligible for social care four options about how their care and support is delivered. Local authorities must also ensure they have access to support to help them make informed choices. The options are (1) a Direct Payment (a cash payment); (2) funding allocated to a provider of your choice (sometimes called an individual service fund, where the council holds the budget but the person is in charge of how it is spent); (3) the council can arrange a service for you; or (4) you can choose a mix of these options for different types of support.

The principles of choice and control should apply to any assessment process, contact with universal public services and engagement with voluntary organisations about care and support.

You can find out more on the dedicated Scottish Government information site

The Self-directed Support Strategy

The National Self-directed Support Strategy 2010-2020 is a joint Scottish Government and COSLA 10-year plan, dedicated to driving forward the personalisation of social care in Scotland. In the first phase of the strategy, from 2010-2012, we developed information to promote understanding of Self-directed Support. The second phase, 2012-2016, was focused upon development of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, guidance, and supporting innovation. We have now reached the third phase, and there is still a lot more to do.

A wide set of public service reforms have been taken forward since the Strategy was launched in 2011, most notably health and social care integration. Set in this context, the priority for 2016-2018 is to consolidate the learning from innovative practice and the application of guidance; and to embed Self-directed Support as Scotland's mainstream approach to social care. Since 2011 Scottish Government has invested £58.8m in facilitating this transition.

Thousands of people across Scotland have worked tirelessly to create the changes that have already been achieved. This includes people from disabled peoples' organisations, social care providers, independent support and information organisations, local authorities, health boards, regulators, and of course people who use social care services and support.

The Scottish Government, COSLA, Self Directed Support Scotland ( SDSS), Social Work Scotland, Scottish Social Services Council ( SSSC), Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland ( CCPS), Care Inspectorate, Scottish Care and Healthcare Improvement Scotland have worked together to produce this plan; and we will continue to
work together to deliver the actions.

"Councils and their integration partners are committed to reforming health and social care services and changing the way we think about care and support. We want to build on people's strengths and I'd encourage all stakeholders to support this by focusing on how they can help deliver the outcomes set out in this plan."

Councillor Peter Johnston, COSLA Health and Wellbeing spokesperson

About this plan

This implementation plan reinforces the human rights based values and principles enshrined in the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013.

Values Principles
Respect Involvement
Fairness Collaboration
Independence Informed Choice
Freedom Participation
Safety Dignity

The content of this plan is drawn from evidence produced in the first two phases of the strategy, practice evidence and analysis of 18 months of engagement activity.

Renews our vision that:

The lives of people who require support are enriched through greater independence, control, and choice. This leads to improved or sustained health and wellbeing, and the best outcomes possible.

Self-directed Support is the mainstream approach by which we deliver social care and support, ensuring people can make real informed choice which enables them to achieve their identified outcomes.

Set against four strategic outcomes , this plan sets out what has started to change, what national partners will do during 2016-2018 to address the challenges that have been identified, and what success will look like. It ends with how we will evaluate impact.

Who is the plan for?

This plan is for people who believe in the values and principles of Self-directed Support and must continue to make the changes necessary to realise the vision. It should be read by people leading strategic change within health and social care partnerships, social workers, people who manage social care services, care workers, supported people, commissioners of social care support, organisations providing information and advice, centres for inclusive living, allied health professionals, unpaid carers and those working in national organisations that support improvement in, and provide regulation of, the social care workforce and services.

Your action counts

The vision and strategic outcomes will not be realised through the actions in this plan alone. It will take the commitment of many more partners working collaboratively within local communities and nationally to achieve this. There is a key role for local authorities who hold many statutory duties under the Self-directed Support Act 2013. They will continue to take a lead role in collaborating with a full set of local partners, including the arrangements put in place with NHS Boards for integrated health and social care, to drive the changes necessary within their local authority areas to deliver the strategic outcomes and realise the vision in this plan.

To date there has been considerable innovation driven by voluntary organisations and local communities, working together with statutory partners. Learning from this and creating more of it will make a significant contribution to the success of this plan.

While the actions detailed in this plan will be led by the named partners, your contribution to this work is essential. You will find details of how you can get involved on our website.

You can also share practical tools, stories of change, and evidence of what you are doing by sending them to us.

Twitter: @SG_SDSPolicy


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