In 2013 The Scottish Parliament passed a new law on social care support, the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. The Act gives people a range of options for how their social care is delivered, beyond just direct payments, empowering people to decide how much ongoing control and responsibility they want over their own support arrangements. The Act places a duty on council’s to offer people four choices as to how they receive their social care support.

Self-directed Support is a way of having more control over how your support is arranged. It means having choice and control over your or your child’s support, and getting the right help to meet your needs and outcomes.  It is not an automatic entitlement to a financial benefit as such but more of an approach to how care can be provided in the way that best meets your child’s needs.  There is an assessment criteria for SDS and although each local authority has an obligation to provide SDS in accordance with the act, there are some differences between how each council is rolling out SDS.

Aberlour Childcare Trust has created some excellent information guides around “SDS” including Self-directed Support for children and families and It’s all about you – a children’s guide to understanding about choice and control through Self-directed Support.

Option What this means
Option 1 You can choose to receive the funds as a Direct Payment so you can organise and pay for the support or services chosen by you/your child, for example, by buying services from a provider such as Aberlour, or employing your own staff.
Option 2 Your budget is made known to you and you choose the types of services or provider you wish to support you/ your child, while the council or a third party, e.g. Aberlour, manages the budget or payments for you. This is sometimes called an individual service fund.
Option 3 You choose for your local council to arrange the necessary support for you/your child. While some decisions will be made by the council, they will still endeavour to maximise the degree of choice and control available to you.
Option 4  You can choose a mixture of options, for example, your council may manage the majority of your budget to organise and pay for the services you want, while you manage a small part of the budget for accessing community activities.


Kindred also has a project called The Right Direction for parents of young people transitioning from school to adult life.  The project aims to support parents who feel daunted by such a huge change and how it might affect their child and family.  We aim to inform parents about the opportunities that are out there for young people, and how this new era of Self Directed Support might affect them whether or not their young person is entitled to a support package.