Self Directed Support

What is self directed support?

Self directed support is an alternative way to arrange social work services to help you live independently.

If we decide that you need community care or children's services we can give you money so that you can arrange and buy the services yourself, this is called direct payments.

Self directed support can give you more control and choice over the decisions that affect your life.   For example, you may need help to get out of bed in the morning, but find that the home help offered cannot come at the time you want.   If you get direct payments you can arrange for someone to come at whatever time you decide. 

Someone who receives self directed support has the choice of either purchasing the services from an agency, by employing one or more personal assistants or a combination of both.


A social work assessment is necessary to establish what you need, your eligibility and the amount of direct payment required.  

The needs assessment process will be the same regardless of whether you are assessed as likely to receive services or self directed support.

If you are assessed as needing a service your social worker, occupational therapist or social work assistant can provide advice and information about the scheme.

Self directed support provides the Social Work with an alternative way to meet a person's assessed need for a service.

Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living, a local user controlled organisation can help people with all aspects of Self Directed Support.

Adults and Social Care

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Fairfield House
8 Lothian Road
EH22 3AA

0131 271 3900 (tel)

Children and Families

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11 St Andrew Street
EH22 1AL

0131 271 3860 (tel)