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.

Legislation on Self-directed Support

The Scottish Government has been developing legislation on self-directed support to underpin the aims of the Strategy.

The new Act is designed to help create a fairer balance between the citizen and the state by clearly set out rights and responsibilities of both community care recipients and practitioners.

For more information check out the links below.

Key Points

The Act will:

  • introduce the language and terminology of self-directed support into statute;
  • place a duty on local authorities to offer four options of self-directed support to citizens:
    • Option 1, the local authority makes a direct payment to the supported person for them to arrange their support (this can include the purchase of support);
    • Option 2, the supported person chooses their support and the local authority makes arrangements for the support on the person's behalf;
    • Option 3, the local authority selects the appropriate support and arranges support on behalf of the supported person; and
    • Option 4, a mix of options 1, 2 and 3 for specific aspects of a person's support.
  • provide a discretionary power to councils to provide support to carers following a carer's assessment;
  • place a duty on local authorities to explain the nature and effect of each option; in other words - to ensure that the person can make an informed choice; and
  • consolidate, modernise and clarify existing laws on direct payments.

This guide will be updated to reflect changes in the law.

For more information visit:

Self-directed Support website -

Self-directed Support Bill webpage -

Self-directed Support: A National Strategy for Scotland -

This addendum should be read in conjunction with the original publication, Directing Your Own Support: A User's Guide to Self-Directed Support in Scotland
ISBN 978-0-7559-5995-2 March 2009


Email: Adam Milne

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