Self-directed support policy: challenges and possible solutions

Mary A. Harkes, Michael Brown, Dorothy Horsburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Accessible summary

Self-Directed Support is the latest system of social care giving vulnerable people in the UK a budget instead of a service provided by local authorities.

There is a lack of evidence to demonstrate how people with intellectual disabilities access information and make choices about Self-Directed Support.

Self-Directed Support is not yet available to all individuals with an intellectual disability.

There is a need for further education and training for professionals and support staff to ensure that people who have intellectual disabilities are assisted to make informed choices about care provision.


A systematic literature review was conducted between September 2010 and April2011 and published earlier in this journal, paper 1. The findings indicated that few studies of Self-Directed Support focused specifically on people with intellectual disabilities. The range of individuals’ ability and distinction between adults with or without legal capacity have not been addressed. It is clear that Self-Directed Support is not, as yet, a viable option for all individuals with an intellectual disability. However, some who have accessed it reported an improvement in their quality of life. For Self-Directed Support to succeed for people with a wide range of intellectual disabilities, the level of awareness of its existence, and the potential barriers in relation to uptake, must be identified and addressed. This paper suggests possible strategies to maximise access to Self-Directed Support and identifies areas in which further research is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-176
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Learning Disabilities
Issue number3
Early online date07 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Autonomy
  • Intellectual disability
  • Learning disability
  • Policy
  • Self-Directed Support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-directed support policy: challenges and possible solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this