A new paper by the Collective has found worrying examples of local authorities seeking the return of unspent SDS budgets.
Following concerning reports of “clawbacks” of Self-directed Support (SDS) funding, the SDS Collective (of which the ALLIANCE is a member) ran a short online survey to hear from those affected. Of the 52 responses, 16 (31%) reported that they had been asked to return unspent budgets. Some have even reported that funds have been removed from their accounts without any consultation.
The lack of consultation can have a serious impact on future support, as the Local Authority may not know whether some of the seeming underspend has actually been allocated to the cost of that support. This approach removes the agency of people receiving support, and goes against the ethos of SDS.
The SDS Collective paper poses questions for the Scottish Government, COSLA (the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and Social Work Scotland:
- Why are funds being clawed back, especially in light of the extra funding provided by the Scottish Government to ensure COVID-19 didn’t result in people having their support cut?
- How is the practice of clawback being monitored, in light of the additional guidance for SDS Options 1 and 2?
- Where is the clawed back funding being redirected to?