What is Self-directed Support?

The Self-directed Support Act came into force on 1st April 2014 and places a duty on Local Authorities Social Work departments to offer individuals a range of choices as to how they receive their social care. By law, a person must be supported to make their own informed choices about what their care looks like and how it is delivered. The ethos behind this legislation is that greater choice and control can improve a person’s health and wellbeing. The legislation also seeks to ensure that everyone enjoys the same human rights and is treated with dignity, respect and without discrimination.

Scottish Care and Self-directed Support

Scottish Care is at the forefront of the national policy agenda and was closely involved in the development of the Self-Directed Support Act and its Statutory Guidance. We are committed to ensuring that the human rights principles of participation and dignity, involvement, collaboration and informed choice, which lie at the heart of the SDS Act are embedded in provider practice across Scotland.

Self-directed Support and Older People

The majority of the services supported by Scottish Care members are delivered to older people. We are convinced that for self-directed support to result in the desired change in practice and experience for supported individuals in Scotland, that it has to become an effective model of delivering social care support for older people in particular.

Self-directed Support Research

In the May-July of 2015 Scottish Care undertook two pieces of research to ascertain the relative uptake of and experience of self-directed support for older people in Scotland. This research is from the perspective of providers of older people’s support and whilst not claiming to be exhaustive nevertheless provides an indication of the scope and challenges facing the implementation of this key Scottish Government strategy. You will find it here.

Self-directed Support Projects

From 2012-2015 we ran the People as Partners project designed to build the capacity of the independent care sector to be responsive to the emerging self-directed support policy and Act.

In January 2016, as a result of our 2015 research, we received funding to undertake work on older people and self-directed support.  From 2017 to summer 2018 we worked in partnership with North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Highland on a project called, Getting it Right for Older People (North Ayrshire) and Getting it Right with Older People (Highland) and self-directed Support.

The primary focus of this project was to explore the application of a human rights based approach, consistent with the statutory principles within the SDS Act, in the operational delivery of older people’s care and support.