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

5.6 New landscape, new learning?

Figure 5.7

Although we cannot predict the future, there seems little doubt that personalisation, both as an idea and as a practice, is taking root in Scotland. It is perhaps most evident in the passing of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act 2013 but is also an increasingly central theme in health, education and other services. Increasing integration of these services, through Scotland's Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) policy, and the adult health and social care integration agenda, will be influential in spreading, sharing and developing the principles of personalisation in Scotland.

It is also evident that personalisation will bring changes to the landscape of health, social care, education and other services. Local authorities have the responsibility for implementing the self-directed care reforms; social workers and social care workers are therefore at the front line of the reforms introduced by the Social Care (Self-directed Support) Act 2013.

Activity 5.3 Reading about workforce learning and development

Timing: (30 minutes)

Have a look at one of these reports:

Your choice of report will probably be determined by your role and interests. As you read, focus on thinking about what personalisation may mean for somebody with a particular role in the workforce, such as a support worker, social worker or personal assistant.

Use your learning log to answer the question below:

What values, skills and knowledge do members of the workforce need to work in personalised services?


'My Support, My Choice' identifies some key areas where information, knowledge and skills are required:

  • General awareness of self-directed support
  • Leadership
  • Values and principles
  • Assessing and planning for outcomes
  • Enabling and managing risk
  • Self-directed support specific processes.
(The Scottish Government, 2013, p.7)

Just what kind of practitioner learning and development is needed will depend on a worker's role. So, for example, a support worker will require a good understanding of the values and principles underlying self-directed support, of how self-directed support works and how to enable and manage risk when he or she is working with service users. Those who assess service users and carers and determine needs, such as social workers and occupational therapists, will also require a robust understanding of why and how to assess for outcomes ( Section 3 ).

You will have noticed a consistent stress on the importance of values and principles to personalisation in these reports. For example, Tyson (2009) sees a range of values central to social work which match very closely those of personalisation. These include such respect for human rights, relationship-building, and supporting people’s rights to choice, control and self-determination. He also discusses how roles can be expected to change. He suggests that social workers’ training equips them with skills and values that support them to take on roles such as ‘co-ordinator’, ‘quality checker’ and ‘gateway to support’. Note that Tyson still sees a role for social workers and other professionals in balancing ‘care and control’: empowering individuals to manage their own care does not take away workers’ legal responsibilities to, for example, take action, if possible in collaboration with the individual, if they think that people may be at risk of harm, or might harm others. This role is not one that is necessarily in conflict with personalisation - Glasby (2011) argues that our approach to risk (of both positive and negative outcomes) has to be personalised too.


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