Update to: A User's Guide to Self-directed Support in Scotland (2012)

Since the publication of the User’s Guide to Self-directed Support in 2009 there have been some significant developments to national policy, including the publication of a National Strategy and the passing of an Act on self-directed support.

Self-directed Support - A National Strategy for Scotland

In November 2010 the Scottish Government published a National Strategy for Self-directed Support. The Strategy considers the many factors which affect how self-directed support is delivered, including:

  • The values behind self-directed support
  • The processes (including how people are supported, how resources are allocated and how outcomes are agreed)
  • The mechanisms (including the different ways choice can be delivered and a look at the PA workforce)
  • The specific needs of people who use self-directed support and their carers
  • Local authority procurement and commissioning practices

Key Point

Importantly, the Strategy defines self-directed support as 'the support individuals and families have after making an informed choice on how their individual budget is used to meet the outcomes they have agreed. SDS means giving people choice and control.'

The 2009 User Guide focuses on one mechanism for self-directed support, the direct payment, but the Strategy makes clear that there are other ways of having choice and control that come under the banner of self-directed support.

For example, through an arrangement sometimes called an individual service fund an individual can ask the council to commission services of their choosing without ever receiving and handling the money.

The Strategy emphasises that an individual should be able to choose to have a direct payment, an individual service fund or to have the council make decisions on their behalf or even a mix of all three.

The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 means that everyone who is eligible for support has the right to choose the option that is best for them.


Email: Adam Milne

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