home header

Self Directed Support

The goals of Personalisation and Independent Living are to achieve full and equal citizenship for all.


  • Introduction 
  • Origins of self-directed support 
  • Making Sense of Self-Directed Support 
  • Budgets and Payments 

Self-Directed Support in Scotland

This section provides a background to self-directed support.

Currently, SUSE is involved with testing how self-directed support can be used to support people's employment aspirations. The outputs and findings from pilot projects in Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh will be published here in 2014.  

What is Self-directed Support (SDS)?

Put simply, SDS is an approach to social care that puts people at the centre of the support planning process. It is not a service in itself. It may be helpful to think of SDS as a tool box in which the right tool can be selected to achieve the right outcome. The tools in this case are the options that can be offered to someone to ensure that their social care package is delivered to suit them.

There are many myths and confusions around what SDS actually means and how it works in practice.  This may be partly because there are a number of terms and concepts associated with SDS which seem to have been used interchangeably or incorrectly with the result that the message has become even more muddled.

The most common concepts and terms which are seen to be part of self-directed support are:

- Personalisation,

- Independent Living

- Co-production

- Individual Budgets

- Personal Budgets

 - Direct Payments. 

SUSE has produced leaaflets on SDS and supported employment, for individuals and care and support workers. These can be downloaded here:

Leaflets for individuals looking for or holding a personal budget.

Leaflets for support workers, and social workers.

These pages on personalisation have been produced for SUSE by Cameron Equality Training & Consultancy