Self Directed Support

A Direct Payment is given by the Local Authority instead of support services to an individual who is eligible for community care support services.  This allows the person to organise their own support by purchasing agency services or employing Personal Assistants.  To find out more about this option, visit

The Scottish Government is currently funding additional staff to develop the service and increase awareness of the options available to disabled people and carers as part of Self-Directed Support (SDS).  Direct Payments is one of the Self Directed Support (SDS) options.

The Scottish Parliament has 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 requires council’s to offer people four choices on how they can get their social care. The choices are:

  • Option 1 direct payment
  • Option 2 the person directs the available support
  • Option 3 the local authority arranges the support
  • Option 4 a mix of the above.

The Act contains some other duties and powers, for example a power to authorities to support unpaid carers and duties on authorities to give you information to help you make an informed choice.

SDS service providers
This emerging Care market will provide new opportunities for carers and care service providers. DSEN provides support for providers entering into this field of work, whether you are already working in this sector, an established care provider, a carer who is interested in turning their skills into a new career or indeed completely new to the sector.