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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.