Self-directed support

Self-directed Support, or SDS for short, is not the name of a particular type of service but is a way for individuals to work with the social work department, other organisations and paid workers to put together a package of care that suits their needs and the way they want to live their lives.

Traditionally, people receiving services from social work and housing have been offered little choice over both the kind of support provided and the time it is delivered. They also haven't been told how much their care and support actually costs, apart from what they are asked to pay themselves.

Other Options

There are other options available which could give people more flexibility, choice and control over the support and services they get to help them live at home more independently.

We've put together a leaflet to help explain how self-directed support works so you can decide if it could be for you. It covers the basics of:

  • How self-directed support works
  • Contracting with an agency or voluntary organisation
  • Employing your own personal assistant
  • Managing your own support and funding.

It also looks at possible reasons for the low uptake of Self-directed Support by people with dementia and provides information on sources of support and further reading.

See also

Professionals should refer to the latest Scottish Government guidance on operating self-directed support schemes at