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PKAVS Self Directed Support Project

Do you support a parent partner, child, sibling or friend as a result of their illness, condition or disability?

If so you are an unpaid carer.

PKAVS Carers Hub supports young Carers (age 5-15), Young Adult Carers (age 16-25) and Adult Carers (26+). 

In July 2018 we were awarded funding from the Scottish Government's Support in the Right Direction programme, managed by Inspiring Scotland to launch PKAVS Self-Directed Support Project.

PKAVS Self-Directed Support Project helps unpaid Carers who live in Perth and Kinross access the social care and support which best fits their needs and the person they support. 

Our project wants to ensure that:

  • Carers know about and understand Self-Directed Support and options for social care
  • Carers feel more informed, listened to and less stressed about the process
  • Carers are more prepared and confident to engage with Self-Directed Support and social care Billy SDS profile pic

We will provide information on the local Self-Directed Support process and help Carers establish their own personal outcomes, as well as providing information on what is available in the community. 

Would you like to speak to someone about SDS? 

We are pleased to announce that Billy Morrison will be taking up the new post in November. Billy has worked within the Carers hub for the last 10 years and is passionate about working with Carers to support them to access flexible and personalised self-directed support.

To contact Billy please call 01738 567076 or email 

Click here to download PKAVS SDS Leaflet

What is Self-Directed Support?

Self-Directed Support is the way that social care and support is organised in Scotland. Self-Directed Support allows you to have choice and control at the level you want.

There are 4 options:

Option 1. Direct Payment 

  • You receive the funds to buy support yourself
  • Local authority will assess your needs and decide how much money can be spent on your support
  • This option gives you the most responsibility and maximum choice for arranging things SDS Final?

Option 2. Individual Service Fund 

  • You choose the support you would like it is arranged for you
  • You can choose the care organisation or support provider and the local authority arranges it
  • This option provides control over the choice and timing of support but local authority will handle the money and arrange the type of support that benefits the carer/cared for/family

Option 3. Traditional Services

  • Your local health and social care partnership arrange support on your behalf with discussion and agreement from you
  • This option gives the least responsibility for arranging things but also gives less choice over support

Option 4.  A Mixture of 1, 2 and/or 3

  • You can combine the options in the way that suits you best
  • You can pick the parts you want to arrange and what parts to leave to the local authority 
  • This option allows you to control some parts of the care/support you need 

The person you care for may already be accessing Self-Directed Support. As a carer you may also be able to access Self-Directed Support for your own support needs. 

An Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement starts as a conversation with a worker about the things that are important to you in your life, often described as outcomes. Some examples of outcomes are:

  • I want my wellbeing to improve and be as well as I can be
  • I want to reconnect with my community
  • I want to spend more time with my grandchildren

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is there an eligibility criteria?

The ACSP or YCS is used to make a decision about whether you meet the Perth and Kinross local eligibility criteria. If you are eligible. the local authority has a legal duty to provide personalised and targeted support to meet your agreed outcome.  

Who can access SDS?

All those who are eligible for support for their health and social care can direct their own support, this includes unpaid Carers.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 ensures better and more consistent support for carers and young carers.

The Act is designed to support carers’ health and wellbeing and help make caring more sustainable. Measures include:

  • A duty for local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s identified needs which meet the local eligibility criteria.
  • A specific adult carer support plan (ACSP) and young carer statement (YCS to identify carers’ needs and personal outcomes.
  • A requirement for local authorities to have an information and advice service for carers which provides information and advice on, amongst other things, emergency and future care planning, advocacy, income maximisation and carers’ rights.
  • A requirement for the local authority to consider whether that support should be provided in the form of a break from caring and the desirability of breaks from caring provided on a planned basis.

How do I get Self-Directed Support?

All unpaid carers have the right to an Adult Carers Support Plan or Young Carers Statement. Completing an ACSP or YCS starts a conversation with a worker about the things that are important to you in your life. This can often be the pathway for Carers to access Self-Directed Support.

You can request an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement by contacting PKAVS Carers Hub on 01738 567076 or make a referral online or Perth and Kinross Early Intervention and Prevention Team.

Will it affect benefits?

Receiving money for support does not affect benefits.

What are my options if I am deemed eligible after my social work assessment?

Local authorities have a legal duty to offer people eligible for social care, four options on how to use their personal budget. The four options are: (1) a Direct Payment (a cash payment); (2) an Individual Service Fund (a budget held by the local authority and allocated to a provider of your choice); (3) the local authority arranges support on your behalf; or (4) a mix of these options for different types of support.

What happens if I am not eligible for SDS?

If you are not eligible for Self-Directed Support, our Self Directed Support Worker at PKAVS Carers Hub can provide you with information and advice about alternative sources of support in the community.

How do I decide which SDS option will work best for me?

It is important to think about what support you need to access and how much choice and control you want, as different levels of choice and control mean different levels of responsibility. It can help to write a list of pros and cons of each option or to talk them through with our PKAVS Self-Directed Support Worker.  

Don’t worry if things change or if you decide it’s not right for you, you can request a review and discuss different options.

What can SDS be used for?

This will depend on what is agreed on in your adult carer support plan or young carer statement and what could help you to achieve your outcomes. Some examples of how Carers have used Self–directed Support include:

  • A cleaner to do housework       
  • A short break       
  • Replacement care to attend a leisure activity

Can Guardians or Attorneys request and receive SDS?

Yes. Under the above terms, you can consent on behalf of someone, if they do not have the capacity.

I am happy with the support I have – do I have to change anything?

No-one needs to take control of their budget if they don’t want to. Opting to remain with traditional services is still making a choice.

SDS allows everybody to choose the way their support is provided but no particular option should be imposed on anyone.

What can I do if I think my budget is not enough?

If you think the money you are offered is not enough, you do not have to accept it. You can dispute the amount offered. You will need to discuss with our local authority what will happen while your complaint is being worked on. 

What responsibilities will I have?

Self-directed support offers you much more flexibility, but managing it is also a responsibility. An important part of SDS is that a person can take on as much or as little responsibility they want depending on the options they choose.

Can someone, other than the assessed person, receive and / or manage the payment?

Yes. Parents of (or those with parental responsibility for) children under 16.  Guardians/Attorneys of adults over the age of 16. 

Where can I go to buy the services I need?

You can make arrangements yourself and employ your own staff (Personal Assistants) and they will report directly to you. Or you can buy services from an agency, a private service provider or voluntary organisation.

Can I buy short breaks (respite)?

Yes. Respite is a short break which is to act as a positive experience for the person with support needs (Including a Carer).

Respite can be offered in a wide variety of settings, such as residential homes, respite holidays (e.g. specialist guest houses) or breaks at home through a support worker or sitting service.

Will I have to pay for the services I receive through SDS?

The person you care for may be charged for some of the services they receive to support them. The law in Scotland is clear that Carers must not be charged for services they receive to directly support them in their caring role.

If I move from one council area to another will I still get the same level of support and will I be charged the same contribution?

Not necessarily. If you move to another local authority area, you will be asked to complete an assessment. Each council will assess your level of support in the local community care context, and may therefore ask for a different level of contribution or offer a different level of support. 

How accountable will individuals be for the use of the money?

You will be accountable. The Support Plan and the Individual Contract together say what you agree to do with the money – they form a contract. Any big changes must be agreed with our local authority.

If it all goes wrong, what happens?

There is no guarantee that any kind of support will work for someone. This is no different with Self-Directed Support. But, there is a lot of flexibility with Self-Directed Support, so you can make big changes. If having this kind of control really doesn’t suit someone, they can use the ordinary local authority arrangements of care planning and commissioning by choosing Option 3.

When can my local authority refuse to offer me SDS?

If you are assessed as not requiring any social care services then you will not be offered the 4 SDS Options. However, the local authority still has a duty to offer advice and information about community supports which might meet your needs.

Local authorities may also not allow you to purchase services from your preferred provider if they believe the provider will not meet your health and social care needs.

In the case of direct payments, a council may withhold payment if they suspect the recipient of financial mismanagement.

Who do I complain to if I am not happy with the service?

If you are not happy with any action, decision or apparent failing of the local authority you should use their complaint procedure. You may find that an independent mediator can help solve the difficulty. If this is not successful then you can go to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman who will look into your complain independently.

If you are not happy with the service being provided you should inform your social worker and the provider or personal assistant involved. If the service is registered a complaint can be made to the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCWIS).

I would like to receive a Direct Payment to employ a family member as my personal assistant. Is this allowed under SDS?

You may be able to employ a close family member as your PA if:

  • You are unable to find a care agency or employ a PA who can deliver the services you need
  • You have special communication needs
  • Your cultural or religious needs can only be met by a family member
  • You and your social worker/care worker agree this is appropriate.

However, if you want to employ a family member, local authority must agree to this arrangement. You should think very carefully about employing a family member who lives in the same house as you, as it will be difficult to separate the times when they are your employee and when they are delivering unpaid care. 

Can I use money from my SDS package to pay for travel expenses for my Personal Assistant coming to and from my house?

Local Authority will not pay a Personal Assistant for travelling to and from their place of work, this is the same policy for local authority workers. Consideration may be given to charges occurred whilst delivering support such as taking the supported person to a Doctor’s appointment.

Other useful resources

MECOPP Good Practice Guide: Dementia, SDS and promoting Individual Autonomy - click to download

MECOPP 3 R's Project will assist individuals with social care support needs to realise new rights and entitlements conferred on them by the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 - click here for more info

Self-Directed Support 2017 Progress Report - click to download

National SDS Strategy - Scotland - click to download

SDS; Your Choice, Your Right - Discussion paper July 2017 - click to download

SDS Change Map - click to download

Challenging Social Care Decisions in Scotland: A legal guide - click to download

Self-Directed Support Scotland (National Advice, FAQs and informative videos) - click here for more info

SDS website banner

Our project compliments the Support Choices Project developed by Outside the Box and the Care and Wellbeing Cooperative. They will be supporting people in Highland Perthshire to organise their own care and support.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about Self-Directed Support get in touch with Billy on 01738 567076 or email 


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