Self -Directed Support is a new way in providing individuals in receipt of care services to better manage the care that they receive by giving them more say and influence in terms of how the budget, the local authority have allocated to meet the concerned individual’s care costs, are spent i.e. what services are funded and who provides these services.
If you have had an assessment of your care needs you will likely qualify for self- directed support.
Self-Directed support can be implemented in one of four ways:
SDS can be paid as a direct payment (usually cash) to the care provider, or you can choose to have your budget cover the expenses of care provided by a care provider of your choice. This means that you do not handle the money but you are in charge in terms of who provides you with care and who you pass the responsibility of making your payments to.
The budget can be spent on anything that involves the meeting of your care needs as well as aims and goals that have been agreed upon between yourself and social services.
The funds of those in receipt of SDS can be spent on services such as:
Respite breaks at any location you wish to choose
Care costs in any setting
Support with forms of employment and further education
The purchasing of equipment and adaptations in relation to care and meeting of agreed aims and objectives between client and social worker.
To apply for SDS the first step to do is arrange to have a care needs assessment carried out by your local social work department. The local Authority will also carry out a Financial Assessment where the conclusions of these assessments i.e. care needs and financial position, will determine whether you qualify and if you do these assessments will determine what care needs require to be met by carers as well as how big your budget will be i.e. how much money for support you will receive from local authority.
There are four ways in which SDS is implemented:
Direct Payment- support is paid for by the client where they provide carer with direct payment.
Budget managed by others- others are appointed to arrange appropriate support and make payments
Traditional Care Management- local authority is appointed to choose care, manage budget and make payments
Combination of all three options- you may choose to make a direct payment when arranging services to meet a particular need but give local authority responsibility to arrange and pay for services meeting other needs.
Which of these options you choose does not affect your eligibility to qualify for services nor does it affect the priority of your case, the duration of time of the arranging of SDS or the cost of the services accessed.
Local SDS organisations can help you with managing your budget when purchasing services from care providers and any other provider meeting an identified need.
The process behind SDS SUPPORT
The first step is the assessment of your needs which is arranged through social work
Discussion of identified needs, Explanation of SDS and any arranged services to meet the identified need
Personal Care Plan is created and discussed and agreed upon between social work services and client.
The application for SDS is officially approved
Dates for both the starting of Care Plan and review are determined
Person receives funding for their care needs i.e. SDS Budget
Client, if required, is provided with help in managing the budget and the meeting of expenses of care services through local SDS organisation.