Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013: statutory guidance

Update of statutory guidance originally published in 2014 which retains some of what was in the original guidance but has some important differences.

Annex 1: Self-directed Support Diagrams

Diagram 1: SDS Roles and Responsibilities

Graphic text below:

SDS Roles and Responsibilities

Social care provision

  • Social care leaders
  • Social care workforce
  • Independent Support organisations
  • Advocacy and advice provider

Commissioning and procurement

  • Head of commissioning
  • Procurement specialists
  • Contract monitoring workers


  • Chief Finance Officers
  • Finance officers
  • Audit

Culture and leadership

  • Chief executive
  • Chief officer
  • Directors and heads of service


  • Chief Social Work Officer

Accountability and oversight

  • Frontline Manager
  • Service Manager
  • Elected Members

Legal and policy

  • Chief officer
  • Chief Solicitor / legal officer

Meaningful measurement

  • Head of ICT
  • Data officer

Supported person

  • Carer
  • Social worker
  • Independent support and advocacy worker


Purple: Directly involved in practice

Blue: Enabling functions working together to support practice

This diagram shows how access to SDS is supported and enabled by statutory and other functions related to the implementation of the SDS Act 2013, as set out by the Roles and Responsibilites section of this Guidance.

The cell at the centre of the diagram contains the supported person, the unpaid carer[148], social worker, and independent advocacy and advice workers. In other words, the supported person is at the centre, together with those who work most closely with them.

The outer cells represent the different external enabling functions which exist inside local authority organisations. These functions are involved in supporting and overseeing SDS practice. Some of these functions (particularly Social Workers and the Chief Social Work Officer) have roles defined by statute.

Diagram 2: Mapping a supported person's pathway to SDS

Graphic text below:

Supported Person - At all stages, you have the right to ask questions, discuss, or challenge what is happening

I need support - You decide you need social care support. Sometimes a friend or relative will suggest that you contact the local social services

First Contact - You contact your local social services. Sometimes, another person or organisation will contact them to ask if you can get support

Eligibility and Assessment - Your local social services will check if you can get support. If you are eligible for support, a person from social care services (usually a social worker) talks to you about the kind of support you may need. The social worker should also tell you about other sources of independent support in your area

Support Planning - You have the right to a plan for how you will be supported. During the planning process, you will choose how you want your support to be provided. You can decide if you need to do this, for example from a carer, a friend or someone from a support organisation.

Agreeing the Plan - You and the social worker will agree the contents of the support plan. You can choose to have someone else with you during this discussion.

Support - You and your social worker follow the plan, and you get the support you need

Review - After an agreed amount of time, the social worker will talk to you about how your plan is working, and to see if your needs have changed

This diagram aims to show, in a simple way, key stages in a person's pathway to accessing SDS. It covers the main steps: initial decision-making and contact, assessment and getting information, planning, receiving support and review.

There may be variations to the pathway depending on the specific circumstances of the person. However, users of this Guidance may find it a useful starting point in thinking about what decisions, conversations and processes may be presented to, and experienced by, the supported person on their journey towards getting the support they need.

For more detailed information about a Carer's pathway to support, please see the Statutory Guidance accompanying the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.[149]

Table 1: Simple explanation of the four SDS options

This is a summary of the SDS Options available to a supported person under SDS legislation, and the broad levels of responsibility attached to each. It is based on the text in the Executive Summary of this Guidance and is intended to be used as a communication tool to help supported people and those around them to understand the key features of different options.

SDS Options: Making it Easy

It may be helpful to explain, in an unbiased way, the features of each option

SDS Options

Option 1 The supported person receives a direct payment

Level of responsibility

The supported person arranges their own support using a budget provided by the authority. The budget can be used to employ staff and/or goods and services.

This option gives the supported person the most responsibility, which may include employer responsibilities.

SDS Options

Option 2 The supported person decides on the support they want, and support is arranged on their behalf

Level of responsibility

The supported person uses the budget provided by the authority to choose goods and services and then the support is arranged on their behalf.

This can be arranged by the local authority or a third party (such as a support provider) managing the money on behalf of the supported person.

The supported person directs the support but does not have to manage the money.

SDS Options

Option 3 After discussion with the supported person, the local authority decides and arranges support

Level of responsibility

The supported person asks the local authority to choose and arrange the support that it thinks is right for them.

The supported person is not responsible for arranging support, and has less direct choice and control over how support is arranged.

SDS Options

Option 4 The supported person uses a mixture of ways to arrange their care and support

Level of responsibility

The supported person picks the parts they want to have direct control over and what parts they want to leave to the local authority.



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