Self-directed support (SDS) is now enshrined in law as the new way to deliver social care and support. SDS is an approach that describes the ways in which individuals and families can have informed choice about how their support is provided to them. The fundamental principles of SDS are choice and control, where people are able to choose how they live their life, where they live and what they do.
fSDC co-ordination group members Shirley Cusack, Keys to Inclusion and Scott Richardson Read, ARC Scotland formed a sub-working group with fSDC Coalition members Don Williamson, Shared Care Scotland, Colin Young, The Alliance in a response to the many enquiries fSDC has received from parents on their experiences of SDS and their own information gathered from families through their work.
The fSDC sub-working group have been hearing from parents how SDS is working in practice and how we can contribute to ensuring that it works as intended for children and families.
Anecdotal evidence demonstrated the following questions?
- How much accuracy is there in the perception that the primary objective is to make savings rather than improve choice and control?
- Is this requirement to make savings leading to an eligibility criteria for services where provision is provided only at the ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’ levels of risk, thus undermining the policy intention to promote preventative services?
- How much involvement is there of families in working with the local authorities to design and influence developments in their area?
fSDC wrote to parents in its membership and then met with parents to gain further evidence. The sub-working group have also met with other organisations including Kindred and Self-Directed Support Scotland to share the issues raised by parents experience.
fSDC is particularly concerned about the lack of information parents and families are receiving on SDS and the options.
fSDC have looked at a number of possible actions to take, including mapping of activity, gathering evidence, but we need to coordinate and avoid duplication of effort and that is one of the reasons that we are asking for members’ help.
The Community Care Providers Scotland (CCPS) have been working on the eligibility criteria on which we are hoping for an update soon.
Self-Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) provide support for user led organisations, and Children in Scotland (CiS) have produced a report highlighting issues including the lack of information and advocacy for families that has recently been submitted to Scottish Government. Other organisations including In Control Scotland (ICS) have received funds from Scottish Government for a further three years to promote SDS in practice. fSDC would like to gain a full picture of these activities if we are to have an overview of activity, effectiveness and any gaps.
We invite you to join with us to influence services and improve them for families and, so contact Shirley Cusack, Keys to Inclusion firstname.lastname@example.org