One of the key reforms of the new self-directed support legislation is that (at the assessment stage) people have a choice four options as to how their support is delivered to them.
What does it mean for the person receiving support?
Option 1. “I get the money to spend on support I choose.” This is usually called a direct payment. The council pay money directly to the person and they arrange their own support usually by employing care staff or buying services from one or more provider organisations.
Option 2. “I tell a third party how to spend the money for my support” A third party, usually he council or a provider organisation, holds the budget but the person who receives support is in charge of how it is spent.
Option 3. “I let the council decide how to spend the money” The traditional arrangement whereby the council arranges the support that it thinks is right for the person based on their assessed needs and desired outcomes.
Option 4. “A mix of options 1, 2 and 3”. Option 4 lets the supported person choose a mix of these options for different types of support.
What does it mean for the support provider?
Providers broadly agree that they should not have a role in the assessment process unless specifically requested to by the supported person. Usually this will be to help the individual communicate their decision to the social worker, or other professional, conducting the assessment. However once a person has chosen an option and indicated that they want to receive support from a provider organisation, that provider will often have a significant role form that point on in working with the person to plan and review their support.
Provider led information
Many providers are keen to provide direct information to supported people about their options, rights and responsibilities related to Self-directed Support. Here are a few examples.
- children and families: aberlour.org.uk/sds
- people experiencing mental health problems: penumbra.org.uk/how-can-we-help/services/self-directed-support-956/
- People with complex communication needs: sensescotland.org.uk/media/1499998/sense-scotland-self-directed-support-web.pdf
- People looking for advice on arranging support overthefence.org.uk
- Statutory Guidance to Accompany the Self-directed Support Act
- The Self-directed Support Values and Principles Statement
- An Introduction to Self-directed Support by the People as Partners Project
- Briefing on the Values and Principles of SDS by the People as Partners Project
- Briefing on the 4 SDS Options by the People as Partners Project