Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland
Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

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Foundations for self-directed support in Scotland

3.9 Self-directed support and outcomes

You have seen that self-directed support, as an expression of personalisation , and outcomes-based thinking are very closely intertwined. But is self-directed support just the same as an outcomes-based approach?

Listen to this podcast [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] of a round table discussion from the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) and see what you think.

You will have heard a variety of different views in the podcast, but all those who took part in the discussion were clear that a focus on outcomes is necessary if support is going to be truly self-directed. But outcomes-based thinking in itself does not make support self-directed. Nikki Bruce put this together in a very clear way when she said that she saw:

  • Personalisation as a destination – on the way to a more equal society
  • Self-directed support as the vehicle we are travelling in
  • Outcome-focused assessment and planning as one of the fuels we use to get there
Figure 3.10

Participants made it clear that there are lots of other 'things' under the bonnet of our self-directed vehicle, and that without these outcomes-based thinking alone will not make a difference to people's lives. For example, they emphasised the importance of practitioners taking time to get to know citizens and their families and finding out how best to fit into their world, rather than vice versa. This involves a sharing of power and a move to the co-design and co-production of care and support ( see Section 2 ). Several of the participants also make the important point that, for the worker, this way of working offers opportunities for increased job satisfaction because it encourages service providers to spend more time working directly with service users and their families to achieve mutually agreed outcomes. Practitioners are also required to develop and build on their skills: for example, enabling people to think about the outcomes they want, and ways of breaking those outcomes down into realistic – rather than potentially overwhelming – goals.


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