SDS children and young people

Planning your child’s Self-directed Support

You are ready to start planning how your child’s support will be provided when you get confirmation of the indicative budget. The support plan is a constantly updated document that we use to record information about your child and their needs.

Find out more about the support plan and how it is created:

Planning for support

Planning for support helps you work out what’s important to your child and how you can use the budget in the best way to meet their desired outcomes. Your child’s allocated worker needs to know how you intend to spend the budget before they can agree the final annual budget and write the support plan. The support plan contains the detail of how the desired outcomes will be met.

You may already know exactly what you and your child want to put in a plan, or you may want help. You can ask family members, friends, education staff, your child’s allocated worker or your Cornerstone advisor to help you. Cornerstone SDS also have a resource mapping service that can help you to find community services based on your child’s interests.

You might find it helpful to complete a weekly timetable to show where your child receives support and the times that they would benefit from some extra support.

What you need to consider

You will need to consider:

  • which of the 4 Self-directed Support (SDS) options you want to use
  • how you want the money to be paid, for example a direct payment to you or a payroll provider
  • if you want to employ Personal Assistants or use a care at home provider or support agency
  • the cost of each part of the support you want to include, for example going to specific social or activity groups, number of hours for Personal Assistants per week or per month
  • if short breaks or respite should be included, for example Saturday Club for children with additional support needs, holiday playscheme or overnight respite which might be provided through one of the resources in Aberdeenshire, Archway in Aberdeen or Badaguish in Aviemore

What you might need to pay for

While adults and older people are financially assessed and may need to make a contribution to the cost of their SDS, children are not charged for the support they get. You may need to pay for outings and activities depending on the cost, but this will be discussed when you are planning the support to meet your child’s outcomes.

Help to decide on the best option

You will be given information and support to help you decide on the best option for you and your child. It is a good idea to think about:

  • What the desired outcomes will be (things that matter to you and your child)
  • How these could best be met
  • What support you might need to manage the support and individual budget

Cornerstone SDS have advisors who work across Aberdeenshire. You can arrange for them to visit you to discuss SDS and the 4 options to help you work out which is best for you and your child.

What is included in the plan

Your child’s allocated worker completes the support plan based on the information you have provided, if they agree that the support identified will meet your child’s desired outcomes. The support plan will include:

  • the identified desired outcomes to be met
  • each element of support that had been chosen to meet the desired outcomes
  • the weekly/annual cost for each bit of support
  • how each bit of support will be paid, for example, direct payment, council arranged or through an Individual Service Fund provider
  • any one-off payments for support or services, for example, insurance and employment law support if you have chosen to employ staff
  • the agreed annual budget for your child
  • your child’s allocated worker’s decision-making process may also be included where appropriate

Annual budget

Your child's annual budget depends on how much money is needed to meet their desired outcomes. Your local Children and Families Team Manager and senior managers agree the actual annual budget.

If you want to change how your child's individual budget is spent you need to speak with your child’s allocated worker first.

Review process

Your child’s allocated worker does a review 6 weeks after putting the support plan in place to make sure everything is working for you and your child. They also agree with you how often they review the support plan to make sure it is still working for you and your child. This might be every 3 or 6 months but could take place once a year if everything is working well.

You, or your child’s allocated worker, can request a review at any time if circumstances have changed or the support in place is not helping your child to meet their desired outcomes.

It is important that you make time to go to your child’s SDS review discussions. If you don’t your child’s package of support may be stopped. Your child’s allocated worker needs to make sure that the support the child is getting, is helping to meet their desired outcomes.

Your child should be included in the review meeting. If they aren't able to go they can either share their views about their support using a format that they prefer or they can use an advocate.

Concerns and complaints

If you are not happy with any parts of the process, please discuss it with the Team Manager within your local Children and Families team first. If you are still unhappy you can raise an official complaint with us.