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Directing Your Support

What is self-directed support?

Self-directed support (SDS) allows people to choose how their support is provided to them by giving them as much ongoing control as they want over their individual budget.

In other words, SDS is the support a person purchases or arranges to meet agreed health and social care outcomes.

SDS includes a number of options for getting support. The person’s individual budget can be:

  • taken as a Direct Payment (a cash payment)
  • allocated to a provider the person chooses (sometimes called an individual service fund, where the council holds the budget but the person is in charge of how it is spent)
  • or the council can arrange a service for the supported person
  • or the supported person can choose a mix of these options for different types of support.

Currently councils are only required to offer the first option (a Direct Payment) but many councils in Scotland offer all the options.

The SDS Act will place a duty on councils to offer all four options.