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Defining and developing Community Brokerage in Scotland
March 27, 2024

A new framework has been launched which sets out a national approach to Community Brokerage services in Scotland. Developed as part of the SDS Improvement plan 2023-2027, A Brokerage Framework for Scotland has been co-produced over the past 18 months with Independent Support Organisations and others across the sector. It sets out the values and principles ...

March 22, 2023

  Recent research published on 26th January 2023 on the social care workforce in England with findings and recommendations for PAs: Cominetti, N. (2023) Who cares? The experience of social care workers, and the enforcement of employment rights in the sector. Resolution Foundation. Interesting article drawing on survey data collected from England in pre-COVID-19 times: Roland, D., Allan, S., ...

March 22, 2023

  Leverton, M., Samsi, K., Woolham, J. and Manthrope, J. (2022) ‘I have enough pressure as it is, without the worry of doing something wrong because of ignorance’: The impact of Covid-19 on people who employ social care personal assistants, The British Journal of Social Work, 53(2), pp. 1243–1262. Available: Reid Howie Associates (2010) Study of the workforce ...

March 17, 2023

In 2022, Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) published the findings of its first PA Workforce Survey. The survey results help inform workforce recruitment campaigns and PA development approaches needed to support PAs in Scotland. The survey was repeated in 2023 and the data give a valuable insight into the demographics of hte PA workforce in ...

March 17, 2023

The minutes from each Board meeting are available once they have been approved at the subsequent Board meeting.   2024 Board Meeting Dates Thursday 14th March, 10:00-12:00 Subgroup updates PA Programme Board – 14.03.24 The PVG Scheme – Regulated Work Disclosure (Scotland) Act – Consultation Spring 2024 [slides presented to PAPB on ...

New SDS factsheets for people with neurological conditions
January 11, 2023

Self Directed Support Scotland has worked with the Neurological Alliance of Scotland to create three new factsheets aimed at helping people with neurological conditions, and their carers, access self-directed support. You can download the factsheets here: Self-Directed Support for adults: Information for Health and Social Care Professionals Self-Directed Support for adults: Information for the Voluntary Sector Self-Directed Support for ...

September 22, 2022

  PA Programme Board Workplan Interactive listing 

May 31, 2022

PA Programme Board Workplan Presentations at Meetings 14 December 2023 Independent Living Fund update, Peter Scott gave an update on the ILF reopening. The Disclosure (Scotland) Act 2020 update, Gareth Wilks gave an update on the PVG scheme becoming mandatory on 1 April 2025 for those undertaking a regulated role. Training Framework update, Emmanuelle Le Coz gave an update on ...

Useful services and organisations across Dumfries and Galloway
November 12, 2021

A new app and website has been launched by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway (TSDG) to help people in the local area find useful services and organisations. DGLocator is available to download on mobile devices and the website version can be accessed here: With over 1000 services featured, the tool showcase the services on offer by ...

Accountability and the Implementation of SDS
October 19, 2021

Accountability and the Implementation of SDS: Complaints, redress, and human rights principles in practice (October 2021)   In Control Scotland and the University of Strathclyde have published new research exploring complaints processes relating to Self-directed Support in Scotland. The aim of the research was to help understand complaints processes within local authorities, routes to potential legal challenge, ...

Equality Advisory Support Service
October 19, 2021

Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) Helpline on Equality and Human Rights The helpline advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights, across England, Scotland and Wales. They can also accept referrals from organisations which, due to capacity or funding issues, are unable to provide ‘in depth help and support’ to local users ...

Reasonable adjustments for schools in a time of pandemic
October 1, 2021

The Additional Support Needs Blog Iain Nisbet: reasonable adjustments in schools in a time of pandemic The article explores the effects of the pandemic on the duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils. Schools have had a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils since amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 came into force in ...

Experiences of SDS in Moray
September 1, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) have published a report exploring the experiences of people who access or wish to access Self-directed Support (SDS) in Moray. This report is part of a suite of Local Authority reports collated during the largest direct consultation of SDS to date ...

Experiences of SDS in Glasgow
August 24, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) have published a report exploring the experiences of people who access or wish to access Self-directed Support (SDS) in Glasgow. This report is part of a suite of Local Authority reports collated during the largest direct consultation of SDS to date ...

Experiences of SDS in Scottish Borders
August 9, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) have published a report exploring the experiences of people who access or wish to access Self-directed Support (SDS) in Scottish Borders. This report is part of a suite of Local Authority reports collated during the largest direct consultation of SDS to ...

PA Employer Handbook launched
June 17, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) is proud to launch an update of the Personal Assistant (PA) Employer Handbook, first published by the Scottish Government in 2014. With thousands of PA employers across the country, and with tens of thousands of people accessing Self-directed Support (SDS), it’s important that both current and potential employers under Option 1 ...

Suicide prevention toolkit
April 13, 2021

COSLA and the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) have launched a new toolkit which will help every local authority in Scotland to develop a tailored action plan to prevent suicide. With examples of ‘best practice’ and links to online resources, the toolkit also includes guidance and information to help Scotland’s 32 local authorities develop effective ...

Coming soon – PA Employer Handbook
April 1, 2021

Self Directed Support Scotland (SDSS) has been working with partners to update and redesign the Personal Assistant (PA) Employer Handbook, first published by the Scottish Government in 2014. Following a survey of the handbook users and a number of changes over the years that have affected current and potential PA Employers under Option 1 of Self-directed ...

New online SDS Forum launched!
March 18, 2021

SDS Scotland is proud to launch a new online forum where our members and stakeholders can come together to share best practice and discuss Self-directed Support (SDS) and social care in Scotland. It’s important that our members and stakeholders have access to the right information about Self-directed Support (SDS) when they need it. That’s why we’ve ...

SDSS AGM 2020 - My Support, My Choice
December 14, 2020

Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy and Communications, The ALLIANCE, joined us for our AGM on Thursday 12 November 2020 to discuss My Support, My Choice, and answer questions from the attendees.  My Support, My Choice is a project between Self Directed Support Scotland and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government, which includes vital evidence, ...

SDSS AGM 2020 - Independent Review of Adult Social Care
December 14, 2020

Derek Feeley, Chair of the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, joined us for our AGM on Thursday 12 November 2020 to discuss the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland, and answer questions from the attendees.  In September, the First Minister announced that there would be an Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland as ...

Carers Rights Day
November 20, 2020

Thursday 26 November is Carers Rights Day, which aims to bring organisations together to help carers know their rights and learn more about the help and support they’re entitled to. Did you know that there is a Carers Act which enhances the rights of carers in Scotland, and that carers can also be entitled to Self-directed ...

Support hub for unpaid carers and PA employers
November 5, 2020

Covid-19 has affected us all in many different ways, and our wellbeing is now more important than ever. That’s why we’ve partnered with national, local and professional bodies who have a shared passion for looking after the emotional and psychological wellbeing of our country’s health, and social services workers, to create Scotland’s National Wellbeing Hub ...

SDS National voice 2020: videos.
June 12, 2020

A full programme from the day can be found here, for your reference.

New Scottish Government COVID-19 guidance on SDS Option 1 and Option 2.
May 14, 2020

    Scottish Government have now published COVID-19 guidance on Option 1 and Option 2 for Local Authorities and Health and Social Care Partnerships. This document will soon be accompanied by a series of FAQs aimed directly at those using Option 1 or 2. They will be available on the Social Work Scotland website here (expected week ...

GDA 'Covid-Resilience' interim findings show that disabled people are left behind.
May 8, 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis the team at Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) has been conducting outreach to understand the impact that COVID-19, and resulting measures, are having on disabled people. So far this has included: letters and surveys to 5000+ disabled people; wellbeing phone calls to 1550; in-depth survey completed by 1177; and peer support groups online ...

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for SDSS members and stakeholders.
March 13, 2020

  This page will be updated frequently as the situation develops.  Scottish Government Guidance: what you can and cannot do. As members and key stakeholders will be aware Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing particular concern for those working in a social care context at the moment. There is lots of useful information available online, we have collated the most ...

Free Dementia awareness e-learning course
June 4, 2019

This e-learning course aims to raise the awareness and skills of care staff who work with people with dementia. It aligns with Tier 1 of the National Dementia Training Standards Framework, which is a requirement for all staff working in social care. It will also allow you to collect evidence towards the relevant section of the Care ...

SDS Storytelling films.
May 20, 2019

New Storytelling films have been produced by the SSSC SDS and Integration Team. The film scenarios were co-designed through workshops held in 2018 which involved people from different parts of Scotland. The aim of the workshops was to co-create fictional characters and stories which would be developed to form short storytelling films, which honestly reflect the ...

May 12, 2019

A full programme can be found here for your reference.

Self-directed Support factsheet (Polish)
May 8, 2019

    We have developed an SDS factsheet which gives readers an introduction to the following in Polish: The vision and ethos of SDS. The four SDS options. Eligibility. SDS legislation. The Independent Living Movement. Where to get support with SDS. Access the factsheet here. 

Housing and workplace discrimination checklists.
May 6, 2019

Citizens Advice Scotland have published handy checklists on discrimination when it comes to housing and the workplace. These checklists help users identify discrimination and provide information on how this can be challenged. To access the housing discrimination checklist click here. To access the workplace discrimination checklist click here.  

Making a lasting difference: sustaining non-profit organisations and their impact.
May 6, 2019

Graeme Reekie of Wren and Greyhound has recently released a new book ‘making a lasting difference’ which is based on the popular lasting difference toolkit on sustaining non-profit organisations. Offering creative insights and straightforward definitions, the book introduces the five capabilities of sustainable organisations and the steps that can be taken to achieve them: Involvement Income Generation Innovation Improvement Impact Measurement The ...

Free Personal Care for Under 65's: Key resources.
April 2, 2019

On April 1st the Community Care (Personal Care and Nursing Care) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2018 came into force. This legislation extends free personal care to those under the age of 65. At the moment public facing guidance is not yet available, however Local Authorities have been issued with guidance which we previously shared and can ...

Statutory Guidance to accompany the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013
March 28, 2019

Statutory Guidance This document contains Statutory Guidance on social care assessment and associated process. The guidance covers adults, children, young carers and adult carers.

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013
March 28, 2019

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 An Act of the Scottish Parliament to enable local authorities to provide support to certain carers; to make provision about the way in which certain social care services are provided by local authorities; and for connected purposes.

Children's rights legislation in Scotland: quick reference guide
March 27, 2019

  A new guide on children’s rights in Scotland has been published which includes the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and is a handy guide for those who work with children and families. The guide can be accessed here.

New website for SDS resources.
March 27, 2019

A new website ‘The Hub’ has been developed to support improvement in social care and social work, and as part of this a library of key Self-directed Support resources has been created. The SDS library features materials suitable for a range of audiences and brings together a mix of resources from short video clips to ...

Being a PA Employer factsheet
February 19, 2019

  Being a PA Employer factsheet published by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following topics/questions: What is a Personal Assitant? What responsibilities doPersonal Assistant Employers have? Can I employ a family member as a Personal Assistant? How do I become a Personal Assistant Employer? What assistance can SDS support organisations offer? Where can I find more information about being a PA employer? Download ...

Capacity and Self-directed Support
February 19, 2019

Capacity and Self-directed Support factsheet published by SDSS. Download here.

Direct payments factsheet
February 19, 2019

  Direct Payments factsheet published by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following topics/questions: What is a Direct Payment? A Direct Payment is 1 of the 4 options of Self-directed Support. Who can get a Direct Payment? What can a Direct Payment be used for? Can an individual get support to manage their Direct Payment? Download here.

Disabled People's SDS Organisations.
February 19, 2019

Disabled People’s SDS Organisations factsheet Download here

February 19, 2019

  Independent Living factsheet published by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following topics/questions: What is Independent Living? What is the Independent Living Movement and where did it begin? How does society need to change to make Independent Living achievable for all? Where can I find more information about Independent Living? Download here.

Models of Disability factsheet
February 19, 2019

  Models of Disability factsheet published by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following topics/questions: What is a ‘model of disability’? What is the Social Model of Disability? What is the Medical Model of Disability? Examples of the Social Model and the Individual/Medical Model in everyday contexts. The Affirmative Model of Disability. Download here

Support Planning factsheet
February 19, 2019

  Support Planning factsheet published by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following topics/questions: What is a support plan? What information should go into a support plan? Who can help with putting a support plan together? Where can I find more information about support planning? Download here.

Self-directed Support factsheet
February 19, 2019

  Introduction to SDS factsheet produced by SDSS. This factsheet covers the following areas: The vision and ethos of SDS. The four SDS options. Eligibility. SDS legislation. The Independent Living Movement. Where to get support with SDS. Download here  This factsheet is also available in Polish and Arabic.  

New report. Awareness of the Carers (Scotland) Act : Experiences of Carers in Scotland
January 29, 2019

  Coalition of carers in Scotland have recently published a short report and recommendations for HSCPs and the wider community on improving access to support, information and advice for carers. You can access the report here

Centre for Inclusive Living Perth and Kinross launch 'Accessibility Guide Perth.'
December 13, 2018

The Centre for Inclusive Living Perth and Kinross have recently produced a handy accessibility guide for the Central Perth area. This was produced with help from Perth College and funded by the Creative Community Fund. The guide highlights accessibility in key areas of interest, as well as local cafes/restaurants. The guide shows where you can find ...

Social Work Scotland Report: 'Best Practice and Local Authority Progress in Self-Directed Support.'
September 16, 2018

Social Work Scotland have recently released a report that aims to share good practice examples and promote learning between local authority areas and across different fields of practice. 15 of the 32 Scottish local authorities came forward to offer evidence and examples of best practice in SDS implementation as follows: Angus The City of Edinburgh Dumfries and Galloway East ...

Our take on 'SDS Data Under Development 2016-17'
September 16, 2018

Many of you will be familiar with the SDS Data Under Development figures, the most up to date of which, covering 2016-17, were released last month. The recent figures show a marked increase in what is described as the ‘SDS Implementation Rate’, now up to 70% at a national level. You may wonder what that means, ...

MECOPP Resource: 'Challenging Social Care Decisions in Scotland: A Legal Guide'
August 30, 2018

As part of their 3 R’s project MECOPP have published a Legal Guide on challenging social care decisions. The aim of this guide is to help explain when decisions made about social care can be challenged using the law; and how to go about doing it. The guide attempts to answer the simple questions: “is there ...

Pocket-sized Guide on the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016
August 10, 2018

The Coalition of Carers have produced a 2 page guide to what people can expect from the new Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. They outline the Carer Pathway to getting the support that Carers need, through the provision of information, to having a good conversation and to making sure Carers needs are being met. You can see ...

Self Directed Support User Experience Survey 2016 – What people said
July 10, 2018

In 2016 SDSS conducted a pilot study into Service User experiences of SDS in Aberdeenshire, City of Edinburgh and East Dunbartonshire. Download the report here.  This pilot study formed the basis of the current My Support, My Choice research more information can be found here.    

SDS National Voice 2018: Video content.
April 15, 2018

SDS National Voice 2018 was an event held on March 14th 2018 to promote and showcase good SDS practice from across Scotland, videos of key content from the day are now available: What does it take to make SDS work? Martin Abernethy with Florence Garabedian, LCiL Support in the Right Direction –Key lessons from the evaluation. Lucy Robertson, Managing ...

GDPR: Information for charities.
April 12, 2018

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has produced a useful FAQ for charities, which you can read here.  

SDS National Voice 2018: Report published.
April 12, 2018

On March 14th 2018 we held a national event to promote and showcase good self-directed support practice from across Scotland, we have published a report to summarise key learning from the day. As well as highlighting who was there and geographical coverage, this report also shows what delegates were able to take away from the day. ...

Review of Independent Information and Support has now been published.
February 5, 2018

The newly published Research Findings (‘Review of Independent Information and Support Services’) by Craigforth social researchers on the independent support provided by organisations funded through Support in the Right Direction, found strong evidence that independent support plays a key role in the delivery of social care, and that without it many people would have struggled ...

PAssport to Independent Living - Self Directed Support - our lives, our choices
December 15, 2017

Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL), the PA Network Scotland and SSSC worked together on producing the ‘PAssport to Independent Living’ book, highlighting the work that PAs do and the relationship they have with their employers and Self Directed Support. This is a collection of stories that shines a light on a very special partnership. The relationship between a ...

MECOPP: Factsheets on SDS
November 23, 2017

MECOPP have produced some new Factsheets on Self-directed Support, which are useful for anyone giving information and support to people on SDS. The Factsheets cover: FACTSHEET: Guide to Self-directed Support FACTSHEET: Assistance and capacity FACTSHEET: When things go wrong with direct payments FACTSHEET: Employment of a family member as a personal assistant FACTSHEET: The duties and powers given to the ...

Targets and Indicators for Health and Social Care Services in Scotland
November 23, 2017

Professor Sir Harry Burns’ report into the use of targets and indicators in Scotland – out now! Former Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns has carried out an independent national review into targets and indicators for health and social care. The review considered how targets and performance indicators can lead to the best outcomes for people ...

Free e-learning on Welfare Reform and Universal Credit
October 9, 2017

With the ongoing rollout of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and the new Universal Credit (UC) later this year, there is more information for people working in the voluntary sector to be aware of. Universal Credit in particular is already drawing concerns about the possible impact that this might have upon disabled people income. Therefore, it ...

Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance resources: Advocacy Map and Human Rights Approach
September 8, 2017

The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA) has recently published 2 new reports. The Advocacy Map gives a detailed breakdown of the funding and Advocacy services that are being delivered across Scotland and the challenges with this. This should be of real interest to anyone from an Independent Support organisation – to show how Local Authority ...

Audit Scotland SDS Report - So, what now?
September 7, 2017

Members will, no doubt, be well aware that the Audit Scotland SDS: 2017 Progress Report was released last week. If you’ve not yet had the chance to read it, or even if you have, perhaps you would like to hear our take? Our Chair, Florence Garabedian, has commented on the report in Third Force News, saying: ‘the major ...

Working out the cost of Social Care: New Template
July 20, 2017

  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 ...

SDS Report Blasts SDS Implementation: SDS Not Working as Intended
July 20, 2017

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: The Scottish Government should ensure that ...

Scottish Government 'Data under Development' report (2015-16): No major improvement in SDS Implementation
July 19, 2017

The Headlines: SDS Implementation rate has risen on average from 20% to 27% 73% of people receiving social care were not given a choice about the support they are entitled to Local Authorities failing in their legal duties to 73% of people receiving support Major change required to ensure SDS will be fully implemented by Local Authorities The Scottish Governments ...

Rights to Care Booklet for Children and Young People
June 29, 2017

Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland (CYPCS) have produced a really useful booklet Rights to Care that describes the rights of people leaving care, in relation to ‘Continuing Care’ and ‘Aftercare’. This has important connections to Self-directed Support for those leaving care. In 2014, the Scottish Government passed a law that made some important changes for young people ...

the ALLIANCE: Personal experiences of Self Directed Support Report.
June 29, 2017

The Health and Social Care Alliance published a Report on personal experiences of Self-directed Support research that they undertook from October to December 2016. The research included a review of more recent publications and reports into the implementation and development of Self Directed Support, as well as an online survey for people using and managing Self ...

Your Support Your Choice SDS Booklet: Dundee Carers Centre
June 29, 2017

  Dundee Carers Centre have developed an easy read booklet on Self Directed Support which outlines in a clear and concise way what SDS is and how it works. It is generic information that covers any part of Scotland – so it doesn’t matter which Local Authority area that you are in – the information is ...

Lost in Translation: Making Self-directed Support work for BME Communities
January 10, 2017

Lost in Translation: Making Self-directed Support work for BME Communities aims to help practitioners who support people from BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities who may be assessed as eligible for social care support from their local authority. The individual and group exercises, case studies, quizzes, and strength based models in the toolkit have been ...