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What is self-directed support?

Self-directed support is about people being in control of the support they need to live the life they choose.

You may have heard it being referred to as 'personalisation' or 'personal budgets'.  There are different ways to describe it, but whatever name's given to it - it's about giving people real power and control over their lives.

To help people get control of their support we have developed the 'Seven steps to being in control of your support'

People are now able to self-direct their care or support in a number of different ways:

A personal budget

A personal budget is money that is available to someone who needs support. The money comes from their local authority services.

The person controlling the budget (or their representative) must:

  • know how much money that they have for their support
  • be able to spend the money in ways and at times that make sense to them
  • know what outcomes must be achieved with the money.

An individual budget

An individual budget is money for support that could come from several places - including social services, the Independent Living Fund and Supporting People.

A direct payment

A direct payment is money that is paid directly to you so you can arrange your own support.

A personal health budget

Personal health budgets are relatively new and the Department of Health is still in the process of piloting them.

A personal health budget is an allocation of resources made to a person with an established health need (or their immediate representative).

See the glossary for more definitions relating to self-directed support.

Last Updated : 24 January 2011. Page Author: Paul Ferguson.