Self-directed Support

The 2010- 2020 Self-directed Support (SDS) strategy and supporting legislation calls for greater collaboration, flexibility choice and control for people who need support which requires a change to the way in which support is delivered.

Social Work Scotland remain a key national partner in supporting the successful implementation of Self-directed Support and receive funding from Scottish Government to support the changes.

Through a designated Self-directed Support Development Officer, Social Work Scotland are able to offer a number of workshops and learning opportunities, facilitate regular SDS Network Forums and have developed a number of resources to promote greater awareness of SDS and to support the policys implementation.

The resources include, practitioner guidance, learning modules, self-evaluation tools and case studies, all of which can be accessed below.


Building Capacity in Communities- Its links with Self-Directed Support

Social Work Scotland were funded by Scottish Government to identify some of the critical factors which support the growth of community initiatives and highlight how investment in communities can have a positive impact on Self-directed Support implementation.

The Self-directed Support startegy calls for greater collaboration, choice and control for people who require support. To ensure a wide range of support is available a key duty has been placed on local authorities to promote a variety of providers and a variety of support provided by themselves and other providers.

This report aims to strengthen the links and understanding between Self-directed Support implementation and the need to build capacity within our communities.

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Self-directed Support within mainstream children and families- Implications and application

This report explores the implications and application of Self-directed Support in children's services. The report highlights examples in which the Self-directed Support approach is being used in work with children, including where children are at risk and aims to support greater understanding of the approach and how it can support ongoing work with children and young people.

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It's no longer them and us - it's just us

The Collaborative practice in assessment programme was developed in response to the recognition that if Self-directed Support is to achieve what it promises: power and control for people who need support in their lives; then there needs to be better collaboration between assessors and supported people during both the assessment and the support planning process.This report outlines recommendations from participants on the programme to raise awareness that It's no longer them and us - it's just us! The report was drafted in partnership with Social Work Scotland, Scottish Government, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCiL) and Animate
The Collaborative practice in assessment programme was developed in response to the recognition that if Self-directed Support is to achieve what it promises: power and control for people who need support in their lives; then there needs to be better collaboration between assessors and supported people during both the assessment and the support planning process.
This report outlines recommendations from participants on the programme to raise awareness that It's no longer them and us - it's just us!

A report produced in partnership with Social Work Scotland, Scottish Government, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCiL) and Animate, looking at ways in which better collaboration between assessors and supported people during both the assessment and the support planning process produces better outcomes. This report outlines recommendations from participants on the programme to raise awareness that It's no longer them and us - it's just us!

Download report


Self-directed support events

Please see below reports from two events delivered by Social Work Scotland about Self-directed Support.

Outcomes focused assessment workshop - 15/12/16
Managing demand - 06/07/16


A quick guide for practitioners

This quick guide has been developed by Social Work Scotland to complement both the statutory guidance and the practitioners guide. It aims to give staff a quick reference point to the key principles and duties that should guide Self-directed Support practice.

View quick guide


Training guides

Social Work Scotland in consultation with councils, supported people, carers and other partners have developed a series of training modules which will enable managers to facilitate training for frontline staff to gain a better understanding of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 and its implications for practice.

There are 4 courses in total, each resource can be used in its current format or adapted to fit local requirements and priorities.

The four modules are:
Awareness raising
Use of Direct Payments to employ family members
Legal Duties
Children and Families


Self-evaluation Tool

Self-evaluation and the outcomes on which it is based should be forward looking. It's about change and improvement, whether gradual, small or significant. It should support us to identify and measure the positive impact for the people with whom we engage with. At the heart of self-evaluation we want to know:

  • How well are we doing?
  • How do we know?
  • What are we going to do now?

As part of our funding from the Scottish Government to support Self-directed Support implementation Social Work Scotland have worked in partnership to produce this self-evaluation tool which aims to provide a framework to help measure how well your organisation is doing with embedding Self-directed Support into practice.

Self-evaluation is a helpful way to check progress, celebrate and evidence what has already been achieved and identify areas you wish to develop further. This tool can be applied at any time to help inform progress. It is intended to compliment existing monitoring and evaluation processes.

You can download the tool here