Self-directed Support in Scotland

Welcome to the Scottish Government's Self-directed Support (SDS) website.

This is a one-stop-shop for information about Self-directed Support for people who use social care services and health and social care professionals.

  • The Good self-directed support project is a collaboration between the University of, Department of Social Policy and Criminology, Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL), Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL), and the National Lottery Community Fund.

    This project is interested in finding out what disabled people think about their support: what works, and what doesn’t; how it could promote genuine independent living and enable more disabled people’s and carers’ lives to be full of choices, opportunities and participation. Furthermore the project would like to learn how much this benefits families, friends, the community and society when disabled people and carers have the right kind of support.

    To better understand what good support looks like the project is looking for people who use Self-directed Support (SDS), or who would like to, and carers for people who use SDS, to participate in some focus groups. These focus groups would be formed of five or six individuals who receive or would like to receive SDS, or indeed individuals who care for a disabled person. These individuals would be invited to chat about their experiences of Self-directed Support for a period of no more than an hour. Participants will be provided with expenses for travel, any personal assistant, advocate and/or interpreter costs. Any information gathered via this process would be very valuable to the project. If you would like to take part please visit 

    If you would like to find out more about SDS please visit

    If you would like to discuss the research with someone, please contact: Prof. Kirstein Rummery (Principal Investigator): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Dr. Siabhainn Russell (Researcher): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Julia Lawrence (Researcher): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    If you wish to speak to someone independent, please contact Professor Alison Bowes (Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport launched both a programme of reform to adult social care support, and the implementation plan for self-directed support 2019-2021.


    This implementation plan sets out a guide for the local planning and delivery of social care support services in the form of a change map.

    It sets out the actions that national public and voluntary sector organisations will take to support authorities to build on their progress towards more flexible and responsive social care support, co-produced with communities and supported people.


    This plan will be of interest to anyone involved in delivering or using social care support in Scotland. It is designed to enable professionals within health and social care to change the ways in which they work, enabling greater flexibility, choice and control for people using support.


    An Easyread of the change map will be available here and on the Scottish Government website (with thanks to Community Contacts and their Blether group), and an Easyread of the full implementation plan as soon as we can.



    You will also be aware that last autumn, Scottish Government and COSLA asked for views on the issues and opportunities within adult social care support. We received 54 responses from a variety of people and organisations that gave us a rich and diverse view of challenges, experiences and ideas.


    The People-led Policy Panel (a group of people who use social care) and Leadership Alliance have used this evidence and their own experience to determine what the programme should focus on (the programme priorities) and how to do it (the programme workstreams). We have also developed the shared vision for adult social care response from that evidence, previous work on the ambition for social care in Scotland, and existing national policies.


    Programme documents are available on the Scottish Government website in a variety of accessible formats.  There is also more information about the People-led Policy Panel and the Leadership Alliance.  


    The purpose of a national programme is to set a clear direction, work on difficult issues together, remove barriers, get better at sharing learning and practice across areas, and put in place national infrastructure to support change. The next stage of this process is for us to co-produce detailed workstream plans, building on current ongoing activity. 

  • The Scottish Government recognises that self-directed support is not yet fully embedded as Scotland’s approach to social care and will continue to have a focus on this. In 2018 we engaged extensively with stakeholders to gather views and from January to date have been working with partners to agree the national actions needed to support change at local level.

    The self-directed support implementation plan 2019-2021 will be launched alongside the wider programme to reform adult social care at Social Work Scotland’s Annual conference on the 12th June 2019.

  • Over the past 6 months the People-led Policy Panel, a group of social care support users, have considered what the priorities for the reform programme should be. They have also worked with the Leadership Alliance and the Programme Delivery Team to approve the Shared Vision for social care support, the programme vision and the programme framework.

  • In March the Care Inspectorate re launched the iHub website.

    The Hub provides access to a range of resources aimed at supporting improvement in the social care and social work sectors through the use and knowledge of research skills and evidence-led practice. This means that on the Hub you will find improvement resources from the Care Inspectorate, as well as other partner bodies such as the Scottish Social Services Council, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, and the Scottish Government, amongst others; information on national policy and legislation, and subjects relevant to the social care and social work sector in Scotland and further abroad.