Joint Ministerial and COSLA Foreword
Social care support is essential for many people in Scotland to be able to fulfil their human rights. That means being able to participate in communities, make choices about work and study, and live as independently as possible for as long as possible. It means having a life beyond caring if you are an unpaid carer.
Both Scottish Government and COSLA are committed to self-directed support: people's right to direct their own social care support, across all age groups and regardless of the reason that support is needed. People must be fully involved in all decisions about their care support, and their expertise should shape the system itself.
At the local level, councils, third and independent sector organisations and hundreds of thousands of professionals continue to work together to realise this vision for self-directed support in effective and innovative ways.
There is, of course, much more to be done.
This requires strong leadership, effective systems and skilled workers, drawing on expertise and experiences from all parts of the system as we seek to transform the way in which social care support is understood.
The broad engagement programme undertaken to develop this implementation plan highlighted much good practice. It also reaffirmed that more needs to be done to successfully embed self-directed support.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport
We have listened to this feedback and the implementation plan that follows reflects what we have heard. It has been developed in partnership, setting out a range of national actions to build on and transform current practice.
The plan enlarges on previous work to test approaches and explore what is possible. It strengthens the practical steps needed to change systems and promote a culture that increasingly understands and values people's right to direct their own social care support.
This plan comes at a time of wider change. We continue with the integration of health and social care, supporting citizens to receive the support they need at the right time and in the right setting. While many more people are living at home or in their local communities through older age, we are seeing greater complexity and intensity of care needs. Demands for care and support are growing faster than many of our traditional services were designed for. This plan forms one part of the changes required to social care support as part of a twin approach of investment and reform.
As representatives of central and local government in Scotland, we fully accept the need for a broader transformation of social care, with self-directed support at its core. We understand our responsibilities to deliver the necessary changes in partnership with others and remain committed to listening, valuing and acting on people's experiences of social care support.
Cllr Stuart Currie
COSLA Health and Social Care Board