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Self-Directed Support

If it's so good then why is it so hard?

Author: Simon Duffy

The global movement towards self-directed support, or independent living, has been in progress for 50 years or more. Given that it is always associated with improved outcomes it is perhaps surprising that progress has been so slow.

This discussion paper has been written as the first stage in an international survey on self-directed support and as part of the SKILLS Project. In order to help develop skills and strategies for the development of self-directed support in Europe the partners in the SKILLS project are researching best-practice within and outside Europe.

In this paper Simon Duffy, who has been working on self-directed support since 1990, offers his initial analysis of some of the lessons learned so far. However this paper is presented as a provocation for discussion and for further debate, not as any final analysis. There are divergent views of the risks and benefits of self-directed support and it is important to listen to alternative perspectives.

This paper also marks the next stage in developing an international community to support and develop self-directed support as part of a wider effort to advance equal citizenship for all. Citizen Network was launched in 2016, to build on the work of the international self-directed support community which was celebrated in the Vancouver 2015 Conference - hosted by the Centre for Inclusion and Citizenship. Our goal is to advance progress on self-directed support, and other helpful initiatives, by strengthening the bonds of solidarity and cooperation that exist between advocates of citizenship around the world.

You can read more about the SKILLS Project here.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.


The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

Self-Directed Support © Simon Duffy 2018.

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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