Social care support reform: vision

Our shared vision for adult social care support, including support for carers.

Social Care Support: An investment in Scotland’s people, society, and economy

Our shared vision for adult social care support, including support for carers

This document describes what adult social care support will look like in the future in Scotland.

At the moment, there are challenges to achieving this.

The aim of the reform programme is to support the changes needed to achieve the vision and overcome challenges that are preventing it.

The vision is made up of statements organised into five groups.

  • The way we value and understand social care support describes ourhuman rights based approach to social care. It applies to the statements in all the groups.
  • The way people access support describes how people will access support.
  • The way people are supported describes how people will be supported.
  • Our system, processes and decision making describes how system and processes will be organised and how decision will be made.
  • Our support across Scotland describes how people's experiences will be consistent across Scotland.

Our shared vision for adult social care support, including support for carers

The way we value and understand social care support

  • Social care support is an investment in Scotland's people, society, and economy.
  • It respects and protects people's human rights.
  • All parts of it are person-led.
  • It supports quality of life and citizenship. That includes being connected with others and our right to participate in society. It includes our right to family life and for carers to have breaks and a life beyond caring.
  • It supports people to live as independently as they can and as they wish to.
  • It is a mix of formal and informal support.
  • It is one part of a bigger network of supports and services in Scotland that work together to support people in the right way.
  • Investment in social care support matches its important role in this whole system of supports and services.

The way people access support

  • Responding to crisis is the exception. Support happens early enough to stop problems happening or getting worse. People think about what their support needs may be in the future and are supported to plan.
  • People have all of the information they need to make informed decisions and choices about their care and support. This includes the full range of creative options. It includes knowing the budget that is available to them. The information is clear and easy to understand.
  • People have access to the right level of support to make decisions.
  • People are trusted to know what is right for them.
  • Carers' expertise and knowledge about the person they care for are taken into account in decisions. Their ability and willingness to provide care is also included in decisions.
  • Social care support arrangements fit with a person's individual needs and circumstances at the different times in their life.
  • They are flexible and change as the person's needs do.
  • They work for how the person wants to live their life and what they want to achieve.
  • They also recognise carers' needs and everyone's right to family life.
  • The range of support options works for the different needs that different people have and different circumstances.
  • People are supported when they change between different kinds of supports and services, or when they take on more responsibility for their social care support.
  • People experience respect and kindness at every stage in the journey. Carers and people who work in the system also experience respect and kindness at every stage.

The way people are supported

  • Social care support recognises a person's individual goals, skills, assets, limits and potential.
  • It makes the most of and supports a person's strengths.
  • It recognises that what a person can do might go up and down over time.
  • It works well.
  • There are different options for social care support. That is for both formal and informal support.
  • We recognise and value support options by how they support a person to do what is important to them.
  • People working in social work and social care support are respected, valued and rewarded for the work they do. They feel and are empowered in their roles.
  • People, their carers and families, or their other social friendships and connections, have the right practical training and tools to manage their social care support to the extent they have chosen.

Our systems, processes and decision-making

  • We respect the dignity and contribution of all people getting information, advice, and care and support.
  • National and local policies are created together with the people of Scotland. That means people who use support, carers, the wider community, and people who work in social work and social care support.
  • This also happens with systems and processes. They are all based on evidence.
  • People who use support, the wider community and people who work in the health and social care system are involved in making decisions.
  • This includes decisions about the system, for example about the most important things to do and how money is spent. Their voices and opinions are valued and taken seriously. This shows in the decisions that are made.
  • People organising and delivering social care support plan and work together with other professions, services and supports to achieve the best outcomes. For example, this means communities, community workers, mental health practitioners, GPs, nurses, hospitals, therapists, housing services, transport services, and others. It means both formal and informal supports.
  • Local and national systems, processes and decisions are transparent. It is clear how things work and the reasons for decisions that are made.
  • People know what they can expect. Accountability is clear and acted on.

Our support across Scotland

  • People's needs are recognised equally wherever they are in Scotland. These needs are recorded.
  • People's experiences are consistent across Scotland. This means they get the same quality and level of support across Scotland even if it is provided differently in different areas.
  • People are confident that if they move to a different part of Scotland they will be supported in the way that is right for them in the new place.
  • Systems and processes make this as straightforward as possible.
  • Communities benefit from social care support.
  • Social care support benefits from communities.
  • The shared vision for adult social care support is consistently delivered in every area of Scotland.

The following partners have worked together to develop these documents

Care Inspectorate
Coalition of Care Providers in Scotland (CCPS)
Health and Social Care Scotland
IHub at Healthcare Improvement Scotland
Independent Living Fund Scotland
Scotland Excel
Scottish Care
Scottish Government
Scottish Social Services Council
Social Work Scotland
People-led Policy Panel
Unison for Scottish Trade Union Congress



Back to top