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Self-directed support (SDS)

Examples of self-directed support

Self-directed support – support, care, trust, protect. Image shows elderly adults chatting on a bench, a person receiving occupational therapy/rehabilitation with an OT, person in wheelchair, home carer with elderly client, elderly person and young child

Self-directed Support (SDS) doesn't always rely on traditional forms of registered care services. Finding out what is out there in the community is a key part of the approach.

As set out in the section on funding and flexibility in the statutory guidance, the authority should take steps to ensure that the supported person can use their direct payment in any way, provided that the support purchased via the payment is in line with the assessment and support plan, meets the supported person's needs and is within the criminal and civil law. Typically, direct payments have been understood as a route to employing a personal assistant*. However, a direct payment can also be used to purchaser a wide range of things. For instance:

  • a service from the local authority or from another local authority
  • a service from a provider organisation in either the voluntary or private sector
  • a product which can help to meet the supported person's needs
  • a short break
  • anything else which will help to meet the supported person's needs and the outcomes in the support plan

The 2014 Regulations provide additional safeguards in relation to the direct payments - both for the authority and for the supported person. This is to recognise the unique nature of a direct payment and to support practitioners and individuals when choosing the direct payment option.

It is important that you and your social work professional agree how support will be delivered to meet the outcomes set out in the support plan.

* There are a number of legal obligations that come with the employment of a PA including; PAYE, National Insurance, Pensions and other employment related legislation. For more information please contact Take Control South Lanarkshire or read the information produced by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.