Self-Directed Support (SDS) is the way that care and support is delivered, making the principles of choice and control central to care and support, and giving individuals full opportunity to take control of their support and their lives.

It means you will know your individual budget that can be spent on your care and support, and you can choose to manage this either by getting a direct payment into a bank account or directing how your budget is spent on social care services and choosing what SDS option is most suitable for you.

Support can mean help with:

  • Getting washed, dressed, going to the toilet, and getting around in your community
  • Shopping, preparing meals or eating and drinking
  • Keeping yourself safe
  • Getting help to develop and maintain your social life, for example meeting up with friends and taking part in a hobby
  • Caring for someone close to you

The Care Inspectorate have made a video explaining how SDS should work and a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

How can I access social care support?

You will firstly need to have a social work assessment from your local social work department. This will tell you if you meet the criteria for getting funded care and support.

If you are not eligible for funded support, we can provide you with information on community resources that could potentially help meet your needs. We can also tell you how much it will cost to provide the services you need and help you to plan your support if you decide to self-fund.

If you are eligible for funded support, an assessment of the support you require should be carried out to identify your personal goals and ways of achieving these. You and any other relevant people close to you (i.e guardian/carer) should be at the centre of decision-making and making choices around your support. When you are satisfied with your support plan, this is agreed with the social care worker. They are then responsible for establishing your individual budget which can be spent on the support agreed in your support plan.

You can then decide which of the four SDS options is most suitable for you. You can also get further information and guidance on SDS options and your decision from our local support service Self-Directed Support Forth Valley. The social care worker can refer you or you can contact them yourself.

Your support and budget will be reviewed periodically or if there is a change in your circumstances to see if your support plan is sufficiently meeting your needs and whether any changes require to be made. You also have the right to request a review.

Please contact your local Social Work office on 01324 506070 and select Option 3 for Social Work if you haven’t already had an assessment and you think you need one.

How does Self Directed Support work?

Self Directed Support gives you four options.

Option 1

You take a direct payment to choose and arrange your own support. Your budget is paid directly to you. These services could include:

  • Employing personal assistants (PA's) to support you and having responsibility for all areas of their employment
  • Buying support from an organisation

Option 2

You can choose what support you want and who will provide it and then choose to arrange or have social work to arrange the support you have chosen; social work will then pay for it from your budget.

Option 3

You ask us to choose, arrange and pay for the right support for you.

Option 4

A mixture of options 1, 2 and 3. You can choose to have a mixture of the first three options for different parts of your support. You will need to agree which options you wish to choose with the person who does your assessment.

You can ask other people to help you to plan your support, for example:

  • Family and friends
  • Your care worker
  • The Forth Valley Self Directed Support service
  • Another organisation that is helping you

SDS Forth Valley Support Service

Our local support service 'SDS Forth Valley' can offer information, support, and guidance on SDS options. For more information on the services they offer please visit their website.

Advocacy Support

Advocacy is when someone helps you to put your views over to other people and who helps you to be more involved in decisions that affect you.

For more information on advocacy please visit Forth Valley Advocacy.

Carers Support

If you help to look after someone close to you with a disability, illness, or addiction – you are a Carer. To find out more about Carer’s support please visit the Carers Centre website

Community Supports

For more information on potential local community supports please visit the Living Well Falkirk website.

Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership logo