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Self-directed Support

Self-directed support (SDS)

Self-Directed Support (SDS), sometimes known as personalisation, gives you and your family more choice and control over your care. It also means that we will work with you to create a flexible and individual care package to meet your needs.


The Act is clear in relation to individual’s participation in their assessment. This is more than ‘consultation’. Whilst assessment is currently a legal duty for local authorities, this duty involves enabling people to co-produce their assessment if they so wish. This also extends to NHS partners involved in the assessment or who are contributors to the assessment and plan.

The Support Person's Pathway

I need support - You decide you need support: Sometimes a friend or relative will suggest that you contact social services to ask about support. First contact - You contact the local social work services: Sometimes another person or organisation will cont

The assessment and the identification of resources are all part of the same process, which starts with the good conversation and ends in a budgeted support plan and the offer of the four Self-directed Support options.

Having a good conversation should identify all of the things that matter to the supported person in their life and should result in the identification of their personal outcomes.

Trust-based relationships and good conversations between workers and people are at the heart of assessment, support planning and review practice and processes, recognising people’s strengths, assets, human rights, community, and funded supports. Personal outcomes are agreed on the basis of what matters to the person.

Budgets should only be costed once the assessment has been undertaken, available assets and strengths have been identified and personal outcomes have been agreed.  All eligible outcomes should be considered for funding, as long as they are legal and cannot be met by other supports or funding streams.


Where the supported person is deemed to be eligible for support, the authority will determine the appropriate level of funding. Section 4 of the 2013 Act refers to a relevant amount and defines this as the “amount that the local authority considers is a reasonable estimate of the cost of securing the provision of support for the supported person.”

We adopt a Resource Allocation System where the authority gathers information about the person’s outcomes, allocates points to those outcomes and, on the back of this process, allocates a level of funding.

The current SDS Resource allocation system generates a personal budget in accordance with assessed need and is calibrated to take account of the cost of a typical complex care package. The approval process for all self-directed support assessments and budgets is governed by a framework that sets out the levels of authority delegated to key senior staff within Social Work Resources.

In addition, decisions about budgets may be made by professional judgement alone or on a case-by-case basis. Senior Management (Fieldwork Manager/ Locality Manager / Head of Service) have the discretion to authorise support packages that extend beyond the financial benchmarks set for adults and older people. This is in line with our Scheme of Delegation and the Financial Framework for Approval of Care Services.

While systems and tools can be useful aids, they are no substitute for the skilled judgement of a social work or health professional in collaboration with the person.

The authority, and the relevant professionals acting on its behalf, will ensure that the nature and level of support meets the person’s eligible needs.

Your assessment

Your assessment will cover your strengths and abilities as well as your care needs. We will ask what you feel you are able to do as well as what you need help with. The assessment will cover areas of your life such as personal care, running your own home, your social life, learning activities and how safe you feel at home and in your community.

You can contact your local social work office to have an assessment carried out and you may want to note down any comments, including your strengths, areas you need support in and what you would like to do in advance of our meeting or wait until we meet to consider. 

Your support plan

Your plan will focus on 4 areas:

  • how you want your support to be designed
  • how you want it provided
  • who you want to provide it
  • what you want to achieve from your support

Your support plan will be agreed and we will discuss the financial contribution you may be asked to make towards your care. You will also have the option on how to direct your care. This will be in one of four ways:

Option 1 - You (and your carers) manage your support plan and receive a direct payment to do this

Option 2 - You (and your carers) choose your support and have these managed by a third party

Option 3 - We arrange and manage your support

Option 4 - A mix of the first 3 options

If you change your mind

If you change your mind you will be asked to review your funding options. You can ask for this at any time.

This is separate from a review of your support arrangements.