Social Care across all age groups is changing as part of a national programme to give people more choice and control over their lives.
The Social Care (Self Directed Support) Scotland Act 2013 came into force in April 2014 and places new duties on local authorities to provide more choice and control to people who are eligible for care and support.
East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership is changing the way that it provides care and support to people who receive social care services.
What is Self Directed Support?
Self Directed Support (SDS) is about working alongside you to think about what is important to you, your personal goals and outcomes and about how best to support you to achieve or work towards them.
Self Directed Support is about:
- giving you more choice, control and flexibility
- talking about what is important to help you have a good life
- thinking differently about how best to meet your agreed personal outcomes
- giving you more control over your own life, your choice of care and support and making the best use of the resources available to you
- working out the resources available from East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership to help you meet your agreed personal outcomes
Who can receive Self Directed Support?
Anyone who is assessed as needing a social care service may be able to receive Self Directed Support.
Family Carers who are assessed as needing social care services may also be able to receive Self Directed Support.
There are some circumstances where individuals are not eligible for Self Directed Support.
- adults or children currently living in residential care
- some people who are subject to certain Criminal Justice Orders
To find out more about this you will need to speak to a social worker or care manager at your local social work office.
Agreeing my personal outcomes
The social worker or care manager will talk to you and the people who know you best to think about what is important to you, your skills and strengths and any areas where you might need some supports. They will write this down in an assessment which will also consider any support you receive from friends and family and any other help or resources that you have in your life.
In East Ayrshire we use different ways to collect and record this information:
- If you are an adult or older person this assessment is called My Life, My Plan.
- If you are a child, young person this assessment is called The Integrated Assessment Framework.
We will then work out how much money available to put towards meeting your agreed personal outcomes. This amount is called the Indicative Budget.
How much choice and control can I have?
Once your personal outcomes have been agreed and you know how much money the council will give you to put towards your support plan, you can choose how much control you want to have over your care and supports.
You will be able to choose one of the four options:
Option 1: a direct payment by the local authority is paid to you to meet your agreed personal outcomes.
Option 2: You decide how best to meet your agreed personal outcomes – the local authority or another organisation of your choice arranges them on your behalf.
Option 3: You choose to let the Local Authority decide how best to meet your agreed personal outcomes and arranges support for you.
Option 4: a mixture of Option 1, 2 and / or 3
Agreeing my support plan
You will need to tell us how you will meet your agreed personal outcomes by making a Support Plan.
You can get help with this from family or friends, your social worker or care manager or anyone else who knows you well.
You can also get help from someone who is independent called a Broker. You can access a broker by contacting the Community Brokerage Network on 0776 9698 606. Your social worker or care manager will need to agree your support plan.
What can I spend my individual budget on?
The money must be used to meet your agreed personal outcomes although the way to do this will be different for each person. This might include:
Care and support - you can choose to employ a personal assistant, or a carer from a care agency. In some special circumstances you may be able to employ a family member.
Memberships - you can choose to buy a membership or access to a local club or community services.
Short break - you can choose to think about short breaks and holidays, particularly when this might offer a break to you or family carers.
You can spend your individual budget on most goods and services as long as they will clearly help you to achieve your agreed personal outcomes.
Individual budgets cannot be spent on:
- anything illegal
- anything you can re-sell on for profit
- paying for things that other sources of income would normally pay for such as day-to-day bills, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, cigarettes or alcohol
- anything that does not clearly help you to meet your agreed personal outcomes
What checks are there on how my individual budget is spent?
Your social worker or care manager will review how well your support plan is meeting or working towards your agreed personal outcomes.
You will be responsible for keeping a record of how you spend your individual budget if you choose Option 1, 2 or 4. You will be asked to complete regular returns to the Council which will be checked to make sure you are spending the budget to meet your agreed personal outcomes.
If you are unsure about what you are allowed to spend your individual budget on, it’s best to check with your social worker or care manager.
Do not spend your budget on something that has not been agreed. East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership can ask you to pay back any money spent on something that is not in your agreed Support Plan.
What happens if my needs change?
If your needs change you should contact your social worker or care manager to have a conversation to review your situation alongside you and the people who know you best. They will help to work out any changes needed to your support plan or if any changes are needed to your individual budget.
What if I don't spend all of my individual budget?
If you do not need services for a short period, for example, if you are in hospital or if you need less than usual because your support needs change, you should tell your social worker or care manager as soon as possible. They will discuss with you any changes to your support plan or if they need to make any changes to your individual budget.
What will happen in the event of an emergency?
Whatever arrangements you make, there will be times when things do not go to plan, for example, if your personal assistant is ill. In such cases, you will need to have back up plans in place. You could have an agreement with family, friends or another agency to provide support in an emergency. Your social worker or care manager will talk to you about your back up plan and make sure this is written down as part of your assessment and shared with other the people who know you best and other agencies, for example Ayrshire Out of Hours Social Work Service.
The information above may be subject to change to reflect the regulations and guidance to accompany the legislation.
For further information about Self Directed Support please contact your social worker, care manager or local social work office.