Self-directed support

The Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act became law from April 2014. It gives people more choice about services they are entitled to and how they are provided.

The Act requires local authorities to offer people requiring support various options about how they would like that support to be provided. There are four options (see below) under self-directed support legislation.

What does the Act mean for carers?

The Act introduces new ways local authorities can support carers in their caring role. Local authorities have a duty to offer carers the same options for their support as those offered to service users.

Four options of self-directed support

The Act means people can now choose from four options for organising support they need. (The local authority must agree this support is needed first.) These options are:

Option 1 Direct payment to organise your own support

The person would be given a ‘direct payment’ (money) which you use to arrange the agreed support. You would have to purchase and arrange the support and provide evidence the money has been spent on this.

Option 2 Choose your own support but have a third party arrange it for you

The person can choose which support providers they use and how the support works. In some areas, local authorities operate an ‘approved provider list’ and may only allow providers that are on this list. Someone else manages the budget e.g. this could be the local authority or another organisation.

Option 3 Local authority will arrange support for you

The local authority arranges appropriate support in consultation with the person who requires support and arranges it on their behalf. This is how support was traditionally  provided.

Option 4 Combination of above options

The person can select a combination of these options, recognising some people might want a ‘mix and match’ approach to ensure maximum flexibility.

For more information about self directed support in Scotland visit: Self-Directed Support Scotland’s website.

Self Directed Support Information at VOCAL

There can be a lot to consider when choosing which option to go for. For advice on self directed support for carers, or the person you care for, contact us here. In Edinburgh you can access a self directed support information session (we call these ‘surgeries’).

Contact VOCAL