Supporting Families to Live the Life they Choose

August 10, 2020 Blog - ENABLE Scotland Nicole Forsyth

At ENABLE Scotland, we believe in the power of individuals directing their own support and building supportive networks within their local communities.

As a charity, we campaigned for the Social Care (Self-Directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013, and we are proud that our colleagues deliver and design social care support services to over 1,000 people through the personalisation model – adopted throughout ENABLE Scotland via our PA model – where every individual recruits their own team to use their budget to support them to live the life they choose.

We know that whilst the principles of SDS are so well enshrined in enabling legislation, far too many individuals and families are not yet able to access it. Audit Scotland found in its Self-Directed Support Progress Report, published in December 2017, that: “not everyone is getting the choice and control envisaged in the SDS strategy”’.


As a campaigning charity, we believe that everyone should have the same rights to access support to independent living, and we work hard to support families to get the flexibility and person centred focus that SDS offers.

We are therefore delighted that the Scottish Government has announced an extension to our We Can All Do It Self-Directed Support project funding.

This project was created in 2015 and extended in 2018, and the team directly supported over 300 individuals and families last year.

The main focus of the project is to support people across Fife who receive social care budgets through the Self-Directed Support (SDS) pathway, helping prepare and complete assessments, and with support at review meetings.


The project’s person-centred approaches include setting up Circle of Friends in mainstream primary schools, delivering Big Plans for young people in to support their transitions between and from school, advocacy at meetings, sourcing pockets of funding for individuals, completing forms, and signposting to additional support both internally and externally.

The project team have always been committed to offering a flexible and diverse approach to find solutions that work for each individual and family, but the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made this even more essential.

Since lockdown began, the team has adapted how they work to support families with the new challenges these circumstances have thrown at them, including:

  • Organising food packages and medication deliveries for families who were struggling or shielding;
  • Sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for family carers who weren’t able to access any;
  • Supporting individuals to recruit their own Personal Assistants in an accessible way digitally;
  • Creating a monthly newsletter in partnership with other organisations both in Fife and across Scotland;
  • Providing emotional support to parents and carers;
  • Advising on home education issues and preparing families for school returning;
  • Providing support to secure home-care and hospital discharge care for an individual.


The additional year’s funding will allow this incredible project to continue supporting families until March 2022, which will be truly life-changing for hundreds of people accessing the support that enables them to live the life they choose.

Follow our Self -Directed Support project lead @Gail_Enable on twitter to learn more about the project’s ongoing work in Fife.

If you have any questions about Self Directed Support and your rights to access it in your area, get in touch with our new Family Connect service:



Nicole Forsyth

Charity Delivery Manager


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