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The Highland Council shares the Scottish Government’s commitment to increasing the uptake of direct payments. Those eligible are disabled adults and children and those who are over 65 years of age who are assessed as needing care services. Direct payments enable individuals to direct and manage the community care they receive, using any necessary support they need to do this. The aim is to help increase the flexibility, choice and control people have over their lives, so that they can live more independently. Information offering advice to people who are thinking about being in charge of their own social care support, or who are already doing so but have questions about the process, is available in a Scottish Government User’s Guide to Self-Directed Support in Scotland.
The direct payments process starts when The Highland Council Social Work Service assesses individuals as needing care services, people can then decide to become responsible for buying some or all of the care that they need. Direct payments can be used to buy services from an agency, a private or voluntary organisation, or to employ staff such as a personal assistant. Information and support on the process is available from Gail MacMillan, on 01463 703536.
It has been recognised, however, that the area of direct payments remains a complex one, so there is a link to a leaflet, Are Direct Payments Right for Me? which provides introductory information on the Highland Scheme in clear language. A more in-depth booklet for service users considering a direct payment is also available.
There are also other documents on the web which provide good information on direct payments and these are listed to the right under External Links.