Rights and responsibilities

We believe that the following principles should determine how central and local government and other publicly funded bodies should act to meet the needs of those people that need extra support to live their life.

Independent living

We should make sure that anyone whose active citizenship is at risk, because of disability, ill-health, old age or other circumstance, is helped to live as a full and active citizen.

Accessibility and inclusion

We should ensure that our communities, their buildings, institutions, rules and information are as easy to use as possible and support people to be fully involved.


We should ensure that we do not discriminate against people who through disability, old age, ill-health or other circumstance need extra help to participate as full and active citizens.


We should provide a fair and reasonable level of help, this means:

a) Prevention - wherever possible support should be provided which removes or educes the level of help that will be required in the future and builds independence.

b) Sufficiency - whatever money is provided is enough to enable the person to be a full and active citizen.

c) Equity - people with similar needs should receive similar levels of money.

d) Contribution - people should receive no more support than is necessary to enable them to be full and active citizens.

e) Anti-poverty - although people may be expected to pay for their own support, this must not be to such an extent that they are discouraged from earning or saving for themselves.

f) Anti-dependency - although it is good that people get support from family and friends and other community members, this must not be to such an extent that they become dependent upon that support.

Personal budget

If people are entitled to receive help then they should know how much money they will receive.


The person should decide how their personal budget will be used - unless:

a) Self-selection of representation - the person either cannot make such a decision or is likely to put themselves or others at undue risk; in which case, they must select a representative.

b) Best-interest representation - the person must select their own representative, unless that representative is someone who will not act in the person's best interests, in which case a representative must be selected for them.

c) Principles of support decision-making - any representative is responsible for acting in the person's best interests and must be selected so that they are capable of doing so; they must have support available to them to do this if needed.


The person (or their representative) must be free to use the resources as they see fit to meet their needs.


The person (or their representative) should be making the best possible use of their resources and should share what they've learnt about how to meet their needs and achieve citizenship.

Duty of care

If it is found that any arrangement is failing to meet the person's needs, putting the person at undue risk, or frustrating their citizenship this is grounds to establish better arrangement of representation or provide a different level of funding.


There must be a system for complaint, review and redress.


The person is entitled to privacy and has the right to refuse support (except in those circumstances where statute law deems otherwise).

Do no harm

Any help or support offered must improve the person's situation and bring no risk of harm, unless that risk is both minimal and agreed by the person.


See our seven principles that underpin self-directed support.

Last Updated : 21 January 2011. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.