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What is Self-Directed Support (SDS)?

Self-Directed Support (SDS) legislation lets a person (child or adult) who is eligible for social care and support have as much choice and control as they are able to, of their social care services.

The SDS legislation has 4 options for managing your care and support.

How do I know if I am eligible for SDS?

If you are already in receipt of services from Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership you can contact your practitioner who will discuss the options with you.  If you do not presently receive services, you should contact the Self-Directed Support Team who will signpost you to the relevant team who can discuss your eligibility for services.

What happens if I have had an assessment carried out and I am not eligible for paid social care and support?

If you have received an assessment and you are not eligible for paid care and support services you will be signposted to agencies who will be able to support you to access community resources. However if you feel that your needs have changed since your last assessment you can ask for a new assessment to be carried out.

What are the options available to me?

There are 4 options available through SDS. The factsheets below provide more information on each option:


Are there restrictions on who can be offered the 4 options of SDS?

There are times when the obligation to discuss and offer the 4 options does not immediately apply:

  • when a person is presenting in crisis,
  • when it is premature to make an assessment about a person’s longer term need for support, for example when people are working to maximise their capability, e.g. through re-ablement, or intermediate care,
  • when a person’s chaotic lifestyle needs to be stabilised before their longer term support needs are considered,
  • when considered planning to meet future needs is required, for example, to facilitate a discharge from hospital.

As soon as it is decided that the supported person will be provided with stable on-going support, the authority must offer the 4 choices.

There are circumstances where local authorities are not required to give the opportunity to choose a direct payment:

  1. when a local authority has previously terminated a direct payment
  2. when the making of a direct payment is likely to put the safety of the supported person at risk.

When the 4 options are not discussed or agreed to, the practitioner will record this in assessments, support plans and risk assessment & management plans.

What happens if I don’t like my chosen option or I find it’s not working for me?

If you find that you are not happy arranging and controlling your own support or you are having difficulties you should contact your practitioner to discuss this with them.

Is Self-Directed Support only for children with a disability?

No, Self-Directed Support is available to anyone who has been assessed as requiring paid care and support from Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership or Aberdeen City Council's Integrated Children and Family Service

Do I have to take control of my own budget through option 1 or 2?

No, the choice is yours. You may ask your practitioner to organise your support for you which would be choosing option 3.  Everyone in Aberdeen who has been assessed as eligible for support will be given assistance to make a decision regarding their care and support and which option suits them best.

I am moving into the area from another local authority. Will my Direct Payments package remain the same?

Not necessarily.  When you initially make contact with your new practitioner they will discuss your present care and support needs.  A new assessment will be carried out if it is felt that your needs have changed since your last assessment.  A new budget will be allocated to you linked to your assessed outcomes.  This may be different to the direct payments package you receive at present.

Who can I complain to if I am not happy with the Self-Directed Support process?

If you are not happy with the process you should initially discuss this with your practitioner.  

Should the issue not be resolved to your satisfaction you can request and complete a 'Have Your Say' leaflet and submit it to the Complaints, Rights and Enquiries Team within Marischal College. 

You can download the leaflet below:

Have Your Say (Adults services)

Have Your Say (Children's services)

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