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3 day SDS Course – ‘Making the Law work for You’ – book now!

Making the Law Work for You

Making the Law Work for YouTom GuthrieCathy Asante

Equality and Human Rights

Making the Law Work for You:
SDS, Human Rights and Equalities

A three day training course for the third sector (Now Fully Subscribed!)

You can still be added to a Waiting List – or register your interest for future dates below

Tuesday 10th October – Thursday 12th October 2017

Time: 10am-4pm

Venue: Hanover Conference Centre, 95 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4NS

If you want to know how to make practical use of the SDS legislation to resolve issues that you or people you are supporting are facing, this is the course for you!

Trainers include:

  • Professor Tom Guthrie, Glasgow University of Glasgow School of Law
  • Cathy Asante, Scottish Human Rights Commission
  • The Equalities and Human Rights Commission

More trainers will be announced shortly. A full Course Brochure will be made available in due course. See the flyer here: MECOPP October Training Course Flyer(Aug 2017).

The training course is FREE. However, a £25 fee will be charged to those who book but do not attend. Terms and Conditions apply.

Tea and coffee will be provided, but participants are asked to provide their own lunch.

Places are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

If you need help with transport or accommodation to enable you to take part in the course, please contact Janet or Jennifer below.

For further information please contact Janet Marsh or Jennifer Paton on 0131 467 2994 or email

Get Legal Advice on Self Directed Support: new service available

MECOPP’s SDS Legal Rights Project:

Three years since the Social Care (Self-directed Support)(Scotland) Act 2013 came in to force, evidence highlights that policy and practice remain inconsistent across Scotland, limiting the potential of Self Directed Support to transform lives. Complex procedures, reductions in Local Authority funding, lack of access to independent advocacy and Independent Support can all prevent people from accessing the support they need.

Who are MECOPP?

MECOPP is an Edinburgh-based charity providing a range of support services to informal carers and those in receipt of care across Scotland. MECOPP works primarily with communities who experience marginalisation due to ethnicity, age, disability or other protected characteristic.

What is the 3 R’s Project?

The 3 R’s are Rights, Respect and Responsibilities. The project will use legal expertise to support and advise individuals about their rights under the SDS legislation. They will also deliver a 3 year capacity building programme to third sector organisations.

How can the 3 R’s Project assist individuals?

The  project is able to assist individuals who feel that they have been treated unfairly by the Local Authority, or where the Local Authority has made a decision that the individual wishes to challenge. Examples of situations where the 3 R’s Project may be able to assist include:

  • Where a review has resulted in a reduced SDS budget, despite increased support needs.
  • Where an individual feels that they were not fully included in the assessment and support planning process, and this has resulted in a package of support which does not meet their needs.
  • Where an individual was not given information or choice of all 4 SDS options and is unhappy with the option offered.
  • Where an individual wishes to make a formal complaint to the Local Authority in relation to SDS. This can include complaints about poor service, excessive delays, and lack of understanding of SDS.

The project has 2 Legal Officers that can provide advice and information to individuals and carers about their legal rights under Self Directed Support, Human Rights and Equalities Legislation. Advice and information can be provided by phone or email. All support is free. In more complex cases, the project can support individuals to challenge local authority decision-making, for example by framing letters to the Local Authority and by making formal Complaints where necessary. Although the project cannot undertake litigation, a referral can be made to a firm of solicitors or a law centre in appropriate circumstances.

How can the 3 R’s Project support the third sector?

The project is developing a range of web-based publications for the third sector, and will also be organising events and training opportunities across Scotland. The project’s two Legal Officers can provide general advice and information by phone or email on specific issues. Third sector organisations can also refer individuals to the project using the referral form on the MECOPP website:

Further Information:

If you would like to find out more about the project, to request leaflets, or make a referral, please contact Jennifer Paton or Janet Marsh on 0131 467 2994 or email

New Research into PA Relationships: Positive but there can be challenges

University of East Anglia research study: Personal Assistance Relationships – Power, ethics and emotions

This study aims to understand the relationships of power, ethics and emotions which underlie the PA model, by gathering and analysing qualitative data. The project looked at what made a good PA relationship, how it can go wrong, and how to maximise good employment relationships. Most importantly, the research addresses the key question of how disabled people can be empowered without disempowering workers.

Key messages:

  • Personal assistance relationships are complex, variable, and involve power, ethics, emotions
  • PA is empowering, flexible and desirable for both employers and workers
  • However, PA can go wrong, relationship sometimes become wounded, or even ruptured
  • Managing PA relationships is complicated and hard work
  • Dysfunctional relationships may be emotionally fraught and disempowering
  • Disabled employers and PAs must be supported to gain skills and knowledge needed to manage relationships effectively

See a copy of the Report here: PA Relatiionship (Power Ethics Emotions)(UAE)(June 2017)

See the Findings and Key messages here: PA Relationship (UEA)(June 2017)

New Funding 2: Transform Foundation

New Funding Opportunity: Transform Foundation

Based on helping organisations brush up their online image, here’s what they say:

We help small and mid-size charities to transform their digital presence to reach more people, raise funds and better serve their beneficiaries.
Would you like £5000 to spend on Facebook Ads and an optional free managed Facebook campaign service?

If your answer is YES apply here:


New Funding 1: Scottish Power Foundation

Scottish Power Foundation

Scottish Power Foundation

New Funding Opportunity: Scottish Power Foundation

They are now accepting applications for funding in 2018. All applications should be made through the online application form and submitted by no later than 1pm on Monday 31st July 2017.
Scottish Power Foundation (1 year funding):
Apply here:


Working out the cost of Social Care: New Template





Component rate for Social Care template and guidance:

For anyone who is keen to learn more about the implementation of the National Living Wage in Social Care, this Component rate for Social Care template is for you! You might be advising or supporting someone to work out what funding they need as an employer of personal assistants for example or you could be a care provider trying to work out a cost for your service provision.

The Coalition of Care and Support Providers Scotland (CCPS) have been working in partnership on developing guidance around the National Living Wage, as well as a template to help the costs be identified locally across Scotland. The group taking this forward is called the National Living Wage Partners Group, made up of people from COSLA, the Scottish Government, Scottish Care, Unison and CCPS.

This information is not straightforward or particularly easy to understand – but if you are interested, and want to influence the implementation of the National Living Wage in your area – then read on! The template builds on CCPS’ work with Dr Alastair Rutherford (Stirling University) to establish the components of an hourly rate. The tool is designed to aid negotiations – it doesn’t recommend a specific rate but provides a basis for discussion.

For independent support organisations it might be important to check: is someones receiving SDS funding able to meet their obligations to pay the National Minimum Wage and the Scottish National Living Wage? Look out for our future update on this in the next couple of weeks.

Further links:

See the Guidance supplied to support delivery of the Living Wage Commitment to Care at Home and Housing Support.

Tale a look at the Component rate for Social Care template


‘Partners in Policymaking’ Course: Now open to new applicants

Partners in Policy Making

Partners in Policy Making



In Control’s Partners in Policymaking Course is now open to new applications:

‘Partners in Policymaking’ is a leadership development programme for parents of disabled children (up to the age of 18) and for disabled adults, including people with learning difficulties, sensory impairments and physical impairments – from any part of Scotland- to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to campaign and advocate for better treatment and social justice for disabled people within our society.

The programme consists of 8 (weekend) residential sessions, which take place over an 8 month period at Dunblane Hydro in Dunblane.
The next ‘Partners in Policymaking’ programme will be taking place from September 2017 until May 2018.
The closing date for completed applications for this programme is 18th August 2017.
For all of  the programme information, giving full details along with the application form, go to the In Control website.

For any further information contact:

June Dunlop
In Control Scotland
c/o Neighbourhood Networks Pavilion
5A, Moorpark Court
25, Dava Street
G51 2JA
Tel: (0141) 440 5250 or  Email:

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New: Research into Evaluation of Independent SDS Support




New: Craigforth Research into Evaluation of Independent Support around SDS:

If you were at the Self-directed Support portfolio day in February this year, you may remember Lorna Ascroft from the Scottish Government telling us about a review of independent information and support services for Self-directed Support that was going to be commissioned.

I can now tell you that Craigforth, a Scottish social research company based in Stirling, have been appointed to carry out this work. As part of their review they would like to speak to all of the projects funded under Support in the Right Direction over the next few months. This is not a review of individual projects, but is to evaluate how independent information and support as a whole helps and enables people to achieve personal outcomes, to be in control of their social care and to make their own decisions about social care.

Lucy Robertson is leading the review for Craigforth and we’ll be introducing Support in the Right Direction projects to Lucy and her colleagues in due course. If you have any questions in the meantime please contact Jess Wade on (0131) 475 2622 or email:

New ILF Fund to open later in 2017

Independent Living Fund




New ILF New Fund to be opened later 2017

The new ILF scheme will be a broad discretionary fund, that will provide short term awards, to support disabled people to live independently.
In its first phase, the scheme will focus on supporting young disabled people, aged 16 to 21, who are at an important transitional stage in their lives.
The scheme aims, in this initial first phase, to provide an opportunity for young disabled people to achieve goals, which empower them to actively contribute to their communities and facilitate their participation in society, creating a lasting impact on their lives.
The details for the new scheme have been developed by the ILF Working Group, a co-production group involving the Scottish Government, ILF Scotland, disabled people, carers, Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and Local Authorities.

In order to be eligible for the new ILF fund scheme, applicants must be:

  • resident in Scotland;
  • be aged 16 – 21 inclusive;
  • and have evidence of a disability or impairment within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010.

In their application, the young person must outline a plan aimed at achieving a specific, clearly defined goal or goals, which relate to making a lasting difference to their life. The new scheme would offer a short-term ILF award to help the disabled young person achieve the goals outlined in their plan. The development of the plan must be led by the young person.

For more information:

The ILF Working Group has just published their Final Report and Recommendations

For more information on the scheme, go to the ILF Scotland website and Scottish Govt news.

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New SDS Report Blasts SDS Implementation: SDS Not Working as Intended

Can of worms

Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right – The Centre for Welfare Reform

The Self Directed Support Your choice Your Right publication comes up with a clear, straightforward assessment of the current state of SDS implementation. This is required reading for anyone working in Social Care currently. Their conclusions and recommendations are stark:

  1. The Scottish Government should ensure that all partners develop a human-rights based approach to the implementation of SDS and a human-rights based monitoring of the implementation of SDS.
  2. The accountability of local and national government for implementing SDS must be enforced.
  3. Local authorities must move away from the time-allocation method of care assessment and delivery, which will always be at odds with any effective or meaningful implementation of SDS.
  4. The use of electronic and other contract monitoring systems need to be examined in relation not only to fiscal savings but the negative impacts these have upon the well-being of the workforce and the dignity and rights of those receiving support.
  5. Access to information, and to all four SDS options, must be made available consistently across local authorities and in an independent, non-discriminatory way.
  6. The Fair Work Framework should be used as a method of ensuring that individual workers’ rights are reciprocated and protected.
  7. Greater focus needs to be placed on developing models of care and support that give autonomy, control, choice and decision-making to frontline workers and those whom they support rather than commissioners and contract managers.

See a copy of the Report here.

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