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Making Sense of SDS: a workshop session for providers. Dr Donald Macaskill . 10-10.40 Introduction and aims  Presentation on main issues in Guidance 10.40 Workshop session one: The Four options -  Assessment and Support planning 11.15-11.30 Break

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10-10.40 Introduction and aims 

Presentation on main issues in Guidance

10.40 Workshop session one:

The Four options - 

Assessment and Support planning

11.15-11.30 Break

11.30-12.30 Workshop session two

Review and reassessment 

Risk and safeguarding 

Organisational issues - Finance, training, marketing, engagement of those who use services 

12.30-13.00 General Q and A

statutory values and principles of the act



Statutory Values and Principles of the Act

  • Involvement
  • Participation and dignity







  • Informed choice
  • Collaboration



Towards new models of assessment

“Alice came to a fork in the road. \'Which road do I take?\' she asked.\'Where do you want to go?\' responded the Cheshire Cat.\'I don\'t know,\' Alice answered.\'Then,\' said the Cat, \'it doesn\'t matter.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

what people say of their experience of a poor assessment
What people say of their experience of a “poor assessment?”

“She was obviously working from her own list and didn’t listen”

“They were late, kept looking at their watch from the minute they walked through my door and didn’t seem to care”

It was awful! One of the worst experiences of my life! They focused on all the things I couldn’t do and made me feel even more useless”

“It was just a tick box exercise most of the questions didn’t even mean anything to me”

He spent more time talking to the carers’ than me. I felt left out of the conversation all the time”

People don’t seem to realise how difficult it is to open up to a complete stranger about very personal things” How would you feel?”

“it was a bit scary, it felt like a test that I had to pass or fail to get the help I needed”

“ I didn’t really understand what an assessment was and why I was being assessed”

what people say about their experience of a good assessment
What people say about their experience of a “good assessment”

“I had time to talk things through and was encouraged to make my own decisions in my own time “

“She didn’t try to fix everything and helped me see that there was lots of things I could achieve myself”

“The social worker was honest with me and kept me informed on what happens next”

“He asked the right questions”

“They really listened to me”

“They seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me as a person and what had been important in the past and what was important to me now!”

“I was treated as a person and not just a number or case”

“I had time to build up my confidence and trust as it was the same person that helped me with my assessment and monitors my support plan!


What do people want?

What matters most?


The Talking Points Approach (Miller and Cook) suggests it is helpful for an individual to consider the following areas during assessment.

  • being as well as possible
  • improved confidence
  • having friendships and relationships
  • social contact
  • feeling safe
  • living independently
  • being included
shifting the balance of power
Shifting the balance of Power

SDS relies on CO-PRODUCTION in identifying and agreeing outcomes and support plans

(SDS National Strategy, Scottish Government 2010).

Co-productionre-defines the relationship

between the public service professional and the

service user; it involves breaking down

barriers and creating a more collaborative and

equal relationship.

deficit led versus strengths based
Deficit led versus Strengths based

Deficit Led Model

Focuses on problems

Can leave people feeling dis-empowered

Often the only way to access services

Strengths Based Model

Focuses on solutions

Values the capacity, skills and potential people possess

Person supported to be empowered

Opportunity to use alternative, creative approaches


The four options:

  • Option one|: A direct payment
  • Option two: The person getting the support directing the support and having a budget but not the money
  • Option three: The local authority organising the services that the person wants
  • Option four: A combination of the other options – ‘mix and match’.

A Support plan has to answer these questions:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to change?
  • How will you arrange your support?
  • How will you spend your money?
  • How will you manage your support?
  • How will you stay in control?
  • What will you do next?
creative support planning
Creative support planning

The branding of Self-Directed Support is powerful a commitment and statement of intent

  • My Life My Choice
  • My life My Plan
  • Your Support Your Choice
  • Not about me without me


At each review, the four options must be offered formally again, even if there are no changes required. How this is evidenced ,it must be considered by the practitioner and included in local review recording process. It may be helpful for the practitioner to see reviews as a natural extension of support planning.

At any time, the supported person can ask to change their option (which should be dealt with by the same process as they made their previous choice) or they may ask for their assessment, support plan, or budget to be reviewed.



  • review of the support applies to all four options under the SDS Act. Review involves re-evaluating whether the plan is achieving the agreed goals and outcomes set out in the support plan.
  • the views of the person with regard to such issues as- the support provided; feeling safe in their home and local community; their level of social inclusion; their personal development; and/ or any caring roles they undertake- should all be explored and changes to the support plan discussed and agreed.
  • the Act makes it clear that the local authority and the supported person have the right to request a review of their selected Option under the SDS Act if there is a change in the supported person’s circumstances/ if there is evidence that outcomes are not being met as anticipated.

Risk enablement

The supported person should be assisted to feel safe and secure in all aspects of life, to enjoy safety but not to be over-protected and, in so far as possible, to be free from exploitation and abuse.

(Statutory Guidance)


14.1 The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 (“the 2007 Act”)

provides the legal framework for the protection of adults who are unable to safeguard their own interests. It is based on the fundamental principles that the intervention must provide benefit to the adult and is the least restrictive option to the adult\'s freedom. These principles should be at the heart of all risk planning and enablement.

(Statutory Guidance


Making Sense of SDS

A series of guides for providers

Guide 1: An introduction to self-directed support

Guide 2: The values and principles of self-directed support

Guide 3: Outcome assessments and support planning – the provider’s role

Guide 4: The Four SDS Choices

Guide 5: Risk enablement and adult protection

Guide 6: Care homes (residential care) and self-directed support


Making the SDS Journey

  • A series of practice hints and tips
  • Human resources and workforce development
  • Finance
  • Inspection and regulation
  • Marketing and communication
  • Involving people who use services
  • Personalising your services
  • Identifying creative options

People as Partners Project

Dr Donald Macaskill

[email protected]

Tel: 07545 847382