How can it benefit me?
Self-directed support is not for everyone and many people are completely satisfied with receiving services that are arranged by their local authority. However there are a lot of people who could really benefit from having choice and control over the support they receive, such as having support staff visit them at times of their choosing or enjoying the consistency of care that can come from employing your own personal assistants or even the flexibility of using your budget to purchase services that meet your needs more creatively and individually than the services provided by the local authority.
Can Guardians or Attorneys request and receive SDS?
Yes. These persons can consent on behalf of someone, if the client evidently lacks capacity. The Council would have to conclude, in its assessment, that the person with assessed need has, after every attempt to support them, no capacity to make a decision to receive Self-Directed Support.
What if my council has assessed my needs before but has not arranged services for me?
If your council decided that you did not need services, then it will not offer you SDS. If you think your needs or circumstances have now changed, ask your council for a new assessment. If your council offered you services but you turned down what they offered, SDS may be an alternative. Ask them about this.
How do I get SDS?
If you already get support, your next review of your support plan should give you time the opportunity to think about SDS. If you don't already get support, get in touch with your local council to ask about support you may be eligible for.
How am I assessed for SDS –what is the process?
As part of the assessment -or review – of your support needs you will be asked to think about the outcomes that are important to you. This might be through completing a supported self-assessment or self-evaluation questionnaire. The SDS assessment covers various different areas from what makes a person feel safe in their own home to their dreams and aspirations for the future, as well as other details such as the individuals daily support needs.
You will have a discussion about whether you can manage SDS and what kinds of support you need to be able to do this. You must have arrangements in place to manage the necessary paperwork, either alone or with help.
Help is available from your local support service. You will also need to satisfy the council that the support which you intend to buy will meet your agreed outcomes.
For disabled children, the council must be satisfied that the services bought will safeguard and promote the welfare of the child.
In addition, if you plan to employ staff, you will need to show that you will meet your legal requirements as an employer and take several other factors into consideration before making your decision.
If my council offers me self-directed support, can I refuse?
Yes. You do not have to direct your own support if you prefer not to. You can have services arranged by your council. There is also the option to have a mixed package where you direct only some of your support. People sometimes try out self-directed support this way to see if it suits them.
I am happy with the support I have – do I have to take SDS?
No-one needs to take control of their budget if they don't want to. SDS allows everybody to choose the way their support is provided but no particular option should be imposed on anyone.
Can I get help to decide?
People using SDS can get support to help make their choices from a local support organisation, which can help with a range of issues, such general employment practice, payroll or peer support.
Is SDS not just about cuts?
SDS is first of all about giving people a better life. It is about supporting people to think how they could lead their lives and giving them the chance to control that.