Help & support Self-directed Self-directed support Self-Directed Support (SDS) aims to give people full opportunity to take control of their support and their lives. It is for people of all ages who, after assessment, are eligible for social care and support from their local authority. We want to help you understand and get the most out of SDS, so here’s a seven step guide through the SDS process. Step 1 – I need support You or a friend or relative decide that you need support. Step 2 – First contact You or another person or organisation contacts your local authority to ask them if you are eligible for support. Step 3 – Eligibility and Assessment The local authority will check if you are eligible for support. If you are eligible for support, a professional will look at what kind of support you might need. He or she will talk to you and work with you throughout the process. They will also let you know the expected budget for your support. Step 4 – Support planning This step will produce a plan for how you can be supported. During this stage, you will choose how you want your support to be provided, including using the ‘four options’. You can do the plan yourself or you can get help from your social work team member, friends and family. Option 1 – You take the money as a direct payment and use it to employ ‘professional assistants’, a support organisation or for equipment and services that help you meet your needs and desired outcomes. Option 2 – Either the local authority or another appropriate organisation holds the money but you are in charge of how it is spent in line with your support plan. Option 3 – The local authority manages the money and support on your behalf. Option 4 – You choose a mixture of the above three options. Step 5 – Agree the final plan You and the professional agree the final plan. Step 6 – Support You follow the plan and get the support you need. Step 7 – Review After a period of time, there will be a review to check if your needs have changed. Further SDS information resources are available on our SDS resources page. We can support you! Contact us today to discuss how you can use your SDS options to select us as your support provider. We can also put you in touch with local organisations that can give you free, independent information and advice on SDS. Please request this information via our online form. Our Community Contacts project offers impartial advice, information and support about Self-Directed Support in Argyll & Bute and Highlands. You can find out more about it here.