The first national Self-Directed Support Week is taking place from 30 March to 3 April 2015.

Self-Directed Support (SDS) is the way that individuals and families can have informed choices about the way that support is provided to them. The aim is to achieve better quality care and support and improved outcomes by giving greater choice and control over support needs and how they are met.

The Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act took effect from 1 April 2014. It gives people a range of options for how their care and support is delivered, beyond just direct payments, empowering people to decide how much ongoing control and responsibility they want over their own support arrangements.

In Dumfries and Galloway, so far, we’ve focussed our implementation on adults, older adults, and children with disabilities eligible for support from Social Work Services.

Here are some examples of how people have been using SDS. Names have been changed to protect people’s identity.
Here are some examples of how people have been using self-directed support:
Betsy (diagnosed with MS) purchases 8 hours of support a week from KEY. She is a mum and granny. Betsy’s outcomes have enabled her to become more confident learning bus routes, using public transport, attending MS support groups, having days out with her younger children and, most recently, being able to go and see her new grand-daughter. This has been very successful and Betsy now feels able to attend GP appointments on the bus by herself.

Jake (physical disability) has his own budget and uses the majority of it to purchase support hours. Over time, the family has been supported to access the services it needs to get a wet floor shower room put in place for Jake at home. Jake also now has day placements, while before he wouldn’t do anything unless his Mum went with him. Jake used to wear splints on both legs to aid his walking but, with the support from his team, Jake no longer need splints to go swimming regularly. Jake has been supported to attend wheelchair curling competitions staying away from home with support and, in October 2014, Jake’s parents went on their first holiday abroad to see friends get married. Jake stayed home with support.

Emma (learning disability) recently went to Glasgow for the weekend with 2 workers to see McBusted and, last year, had her first holiday on her own without her parents. This allowed her parents to have their first holiday abroad.

Lenny (learning disability) is about to complete his first year at Carlisle college where he has been attending a cookery course. Lenny has just been accepted into 2nd year. Lenny is supported to do this by his worker. Lenny also completed his Outcomes course recently.

A Football Group meets every Saturday. Initially it only went to home games but is now travelling all over Scotland to support Queen of the South FC.

Pitchin Kitchen meets at North West Resource Centre (NWRC) in Dumfries. This group is primarily for young people living at home with their parents who share their support time to meet and eat. The members all get involved in planning and preparing meals.

Stacey (mental health issue) has finally got back to the job she loves working in a library. Stacey had to give up her job several years ago in a local library due to health and safety regulations surrounding her epilepsy. Now thanks to SDS she is now working in another local library alongside her support worker.

“It’s hard to sum up SDS in a few words as there is so much good stuff to say about it. I think I’d say that it’s freedom of choice for those you care for to live a life of their choosing.”
– Quote from the carer of a person with a learning disability

“In serious need of help we contacted Social Work Services. They listened to our problems and came up with self-directed support as a solution. SDS turned our lives around and provided us with a more secure stress free life. Social Work Services gets 5 stars from us. We were treated with kindness and respect. This meant a great deal to us.”
– Quote from an older couple

Councillor Jim Dempster, chairman of the Social Work Services committee, said, “Protecting the most vulnerable and being inclusive are priorities for our Council. Self-Directed Support is a key part of this. By enabling people to take their own decisions on care and support, we empower them to achieve the outcomes that they want.”

For more info on Self Directed Support see:




Anyone already with care and support from Social Work Services can discuss having more choice and control with their social worker.

Anyone who thinks that they might be eligible for support and would like to have choice and control in how that is delivered should contact the Council’s Social Work Services, t: 030 33 33 3000.

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