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I Would Never Have Believed

Authors: Thistle Foundation and Animate

Learning from the Individual Service Fund Pilot 2014

The introduction of the Social Care (Self- Directed Support) (Scotland) Act in 2013 has provided a framework for a brave new world in which to work and live. For the first time, legislation has enshrined the notion that people who require support should have choice and control over their support, and that the systems set up to provide that support should be as flexible and responsive as possible.

Individual Service Funds are at the heart of the practical application of Self Directed Support. Shortly before the introduction of the Act, Thistle Foundation and City of Edinburgh Council agreed to collaborate on a pilot of ISFs, an approach to the practical application of Option 2 that was (and still is) far out of the comfort zone of many providers and local authorities.

The pilot tested whether personalised support could be designed and delivered differently by a creative approach to planning and use of funds and whether this approach led to better outcomes for the people involved – as intended by the Act.


The publisher is the Thistle Foundation.

"I would never have believed..." © Thistle Foundation 2015.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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