How We Can Support You
Our Support Service – What Do we Do?
We work independently from the local authority to provide support to people in Dundee and Angus. Here are some of the ways we can assist you:
- To have the advice, information and support you need
- To feel confident to manage whatever option you choose
- To help you to meet your outcomes
- To help you to access choice, control and flexibility over your support
- To provide a payroll service
- To provide you and your employees with relevant training and support
How we can support you
- Advice and information regarding Self-Directed Support
- Helping you in identifying your outcomes
- Assisting in identifying appropriate supports
- Support to set up and manage your budget
- Assistance with recruitment
- Information on employment practice and legal responsibilities
- Information on using an agency
- Assistance completing financial monitoring forms
- Peer mentoring – Mentoring refers to a relationship where a more experienced or knowledgeable person in a particular area helps a less experienced or knowledgeable person in the same area. Therefore, in this peer mentoring programme an individual receiving direct payments for themselves or for their child(ren) will share their knowledge and/or support individuals considering or new to managing a direct payments package.
How can Self-Directed Support be used?
Self-Directed Support can be used in many ways. You can get support to live in your own home, such as help with having a bath or getting washed and dressed.
It could support you to go college, to continue in employment or new employment, volunteer or to enjoy leisure activities. It could also be used to provide a short break (respite) or for equipment and temporary adaptations. These are referred to as your outcomes.
If I’m happy with my support does it have to change?
No. That’s great you’re happy, nothing has to change unless you want it too.
What is personalisation?
This means you can shape and select the services you receive and is at the heart of Self-Directed Support. Personalisation is all about choice, what you want, when you want it and who you want to provide it.
How is Self-Directed Support Different from a Direct Payment?
A Direct payment is one of the options of Self-Directed Support, however this has been around a lot longer. A Direct payment is a cash payment for the purchase of support, SDS aims to build on the choice and control that a Direct Payment previously offered.
How will I be assessed?
If you are already receiving support from Social Work and your needs haven’t changed but you would like a Direct payment or a mix of the Self-Directed Support options then you should talk to your Social Worker. Together you would work out a personal care plan which sets out your needs and how these will be met.
How can I prepare for the assessment?
It is a good idea to keep a diary for a week or two to see what help and support you need each day.
What if I am not receiving any support from social work just now? Can I still ask for a Direct Payment or one of the other options?
Yes, we can give you the details of the First Contact Team in Dundee or the Access Team in Angus, this will start you off in the process. If you are assessed as having a need then you can start thinking about how you want your needs to be met.
What can we spend funding on?
Traditionally individuals have purchased services from Care Providers or employed their own personal Assistants, however SDS will allow for a lot more flexibility around this for example you may be able access support from Voluntary Organisations. How you spend the money will need to be agreed with the Local Authority in advance.
What things do I need to think about as an employer?
Being an employer means being in charge of people. It is essential you treat people fairly and carry out your legal responsibilities.
Does the money go into my own personal Bank account?
No, you will need to open a separate bank account where you will keep the money for your direct payment separate from all your personal money.
How is it monitored?
If you decide on having a Direct Payment you will need to show the Local Authority you are using your money to meet your agreed outcomes. You will need to show records of the transactions coming in and out of your Direct Payment Bank Account.
For all of the options there will be a process of assessment and review arranged to ensure your outcomes are being met.
Is there a limit on the amount of payment?
This varies between each Local Authority and depends on the assessment tools they use, for example, you may be given a budget or you may be assess for personal care needs and practical support in terms of the number of hours you need.
If I choose a Direct Payment, where does the money come from?
This is public money taken from the same funds that provide traditional social work services.
Is it means tested?
There is a Financial Assessment carried out for all elements of your care and support, however if you are 65 years or over all personal care is free of charge.
I want to direct my own support, does that mean I’m on my own? What if something goes wrong?
You are taking on the responsibility of meeting your assessed needs. It might be a good idea to think about emergency planning as this will give you peace of mind knowing you have procedures/arrangements in place to provide cover for unexpected events, for example, sickness cover. If you are using a Direct Payment you should build this into your contingency money. It is impossible to plan for every situation that might arise; you can contact the support service or your care manager, if you feel you need support with this.
Can I change my mind?
Yes if you decide you would like to change the way in which you have directed your support you can do this at any time.
What should I think about when choosing an agency?
This means you are not employing directly and you do not have a responsibility as an employer. You will have a contract with the Agency to provide the care workers you need. It would be a good idea to think about the tasks you would expect the staff to do and about the way the tasks are carried out, so you can decide if the agency is able to meet your needs. Try and contact more than one agency before deciding.
Can I contract someone who is Self employed?
A personal assistant is almost always an employee not a self employed person. It is your responsibility to ensure the personal assistant has the correct employment status. It is not a matter of personal choice. Advice can be found on the HRMC website.
Can I employ a family member?
Under the Direct Payment 2014 Regulations the authority can agree to a supported person employing a close relative or family member where appropriate. Please see link for details: www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/04/5438/11
I am receiving money from the Independent Living Fund (ILF), how does this tie in with SDS?
This is closed at the moment to new applicants. You can use ILF and SDS together. From 30 June 2015 the Scottish Government will receive the ILF resources and have decided to make a further £5.5million investment to the Fund and to re-open it to new applicants.
Lucinda Godfrey – Chief Executive Officer, Dundee Carers Centre
Meg Marr – Team Manager (Independent Living Services)
Barbara Maguire – Direct Payments Advisor for Angus
Helen Harkness – Self-directed Support Broker for Dundee (Currently on maternity leave)
Catherine Harris – Self-directed Support Broker for Angus
Adele Donald - Learning and Development Worker for Dundee and Angus
Stacey MacDonald, Team Manager (Finance & Resources)
Pauline Rice, Finance Officer
Catherine Mills, Payroll Assistant
You could volunteer with our projects in Dundee Carers Centre – please feel free to contact the centre regarding this