Self directed support

Hi all, I have a question about self directed support. I have been thinking about applying for a long time due to struggling financially with the extra costs of having a disabled child and not being able to afford 121 lessons for things like swimming and similar and for a carer to take her out for an hour or two each week so I can get a break. Can I ask what have others found the self directed care support been useful for them and that they have been able to use it for which I may not have realised? Thank you all.

Hi there,
Many thanks for getting in touch and your post about ‘Accessing SDS’ and ‘What you can use SDS for’.
First of all, I would say that SDS is about supporting both children and adults to live a good quality of life and to support their health, well-being and development through connecting people with the support they need to do this. This support might already be available through existing services, or it might require further resources once someone’s need for support is identified.
There are a couple of things that would be useful to know about:

  1. There will be an Independent SDS Information and Support Service available to you in your local area, that can potentially support you to look at how to access further support through SDS locally. You can find them by doing a search on our website and using the ‘Find Help’ button, which you can find here:

  2. As a carer, you have a right to a ‘good conversation’ through an Adult Carers Support Plan (ACSP). You can normally start that by contacting your local Carers Centre and you can find details through our ‘Find Help’ search or by contacting the Coalition of Carers in Scotland here:

In terms of what you can use SDS for, this could be quite wide and varied, depending on the needs that your child had, as well as your needs as their carer. So potentially, helping to pay for support, an activity, a piece of equipment - there could be a whole range of options. However, whatever is identified needs to relate to your child’s needs and be agreed with the Local Authority.

There has been some updated SDS Guidance that came out from the Scottish Government last year, that might be helpful to have a look at. You can find this here: Supporting documents - Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013: statutory guidance -

I hope this gives you a good place to start but do come back to me if there’s anything further you need to know.

Many thanks,


Hopefully you have taken the plunge and are now getting support for daughter, but in case you haven’t, there is a good SDS factsheet for parents that the Neurological Alliance of Scotland (NAoS) recently published in conjunction with SDS Scotland: