Getting it right for children, young people and families in Scotland

This conference was hosted by In Control Scotland, it was an opportunity for local authorities, providers and families to share learning on self-directed support in Scotland.

The event was held in Edinburgh on the Thursday 11 October 2012.

The Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Bill currently progressing through the Scottish parliament, and the 10 year national strategy for self-directed support, provide a clear direction and new duties for everyone involved in social care in Scotland .  Most of the attention to date has focused on making self-directed support work for adults but the vision and duties apply to all ages and this presents a challenge and opportunity to all of us, including families, provider organisations and local authorities.

This conference focused on sharing the learning from early work in children's services, including work supported by In Control Scotland in three local authority areas. It also looked at other work taking place in England, including input from SQW who led the evaluation of six pilots in children's services over the past three years. As well as presentations from families and young people sharing the difference that having more control over their support has made to their lives.

The one day event was an opportunity to learn, share and develop knowledge about self-directed support and what it means for children, young people and families in the future, including:

  • How it will challenge providers to deliver support to families, children and young people with different expectations and support needs
  • How local authorities are starting to support families to direct their child's support
  • What providers in these areas are doing to prepare and change what they offer based on what families are asking for
  • How resource allocation can work and why a focus on outcomes is so important
  • How commissioners need to change the way they commission services and the change in the approach to what they commission


The conference included both keynote presentations and workshops.

Morning Keynotes - Setting the scene: Self-directed support in Scotland and links to children and families and new legislation; key indicators and learning from the DfE Individual Budget Pilot evaluation (Graham Thom, Director at SQW)

Afternoon Keynote: Learning and stories from 'Taking the first steps' demonstration work - Nic Crosby from In Control England, Keith Etherington from In Control Scotland, Jaynie Mitchell from Inspiring Inclusion together with families and local authorities from Taking the First Steps.

Workshops included:

  • 'Commissioning for personalisation' - Claire Lazarus from In Control England on the Commissioning Guidance and how this can be adapted in Scotland
  • 'Planning Together' - thinking beyond now and developing support plans with families - Jaynie Mitchell, Inspiring Inclusion, Shirley Cusack, Keys to Inclusion and Gerry Kelly from In Control England
  • 'Moving from pilot to roll out'- Martin Donkin from Newcastle City Council
  • 'Developing a Children's RAS based on SHANARI indicators' - learning from early work in Highland
  • 'It's never too early' - young people in transition and self-directed support
  • 'Planning for the right place to stay' - Housing Options workshop (please note this and the above workshop will only run once)

The Conference also included a panel discussion and questions and video/audio montage of individual stories.

Presentations and documents from the day are downloadable below.

For further information about the work of In Control Scotland, please contact

Last Updated : 23 October 2012. Page Author: Donna Godding.