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Everyone should be able to live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as they can. There may be times where perhaps through illness, accident, disability or simply getting older that additional support is needed.

It is important you are involved as much as possible in choosing and arranging your care and support, making sure the support you receive helps you to achieve the things that are most important to you. This is called self-directed support.

Following the completion of your care and support assessment, you will now be looking to develop your care and support plan to look at how the support you need will be delivered by those who already support you and were identified through your personal budget.

A social care worker will talk to you about the support you require and help you to develop your care and support plan.

What does my support plan do?

A support plan helps you to think about how you want to use your personal budget. Everyone’s plan will be different and should use a range of support and services that work for you.

  • how you can stay independent and minimise risks to you
  • what you want to change or achieve - we call this your outcomes
  • how you can stay in control of your support
  • how your support will be arranged
  • an estimate of how much the support will cost

Your support plan also needs to include any unpaid support available from your carers, family, friends and having any voluntary and community organisations.

What does my support plan do?

  • technology that maintains your independence such as medication prompts, daily reminders or falls detectors
  • help with personal care such as washing, dressing, toileting and taking medication
  • meals such as delivery services or lunch clubs (paid by you)
  • equipment to help become more independent
  • support for your carer, if you have one

What will my plan not cover?

  • anything that would be provided through the NHS, for example, counselling, continence pads and wheelchair
  • day to day living expenses such as rent, food, gas, electricity and water
  • anything that is illegal or would not promote your well-being

Once the support plan has been completed it will need to be agreed upon to ensure that it meets your needs. When the support plan is agreed you will have a clear idea of the support required and how much it will cost, this is called your personal budget.

Once you have a personal budget you can start to think about the best way to use it.

Arranging my support:

There are several different options to choose from.

A direct payment would be the main way for you to manage your care and support needs, as this allows you to control and manage your own care services. You can choose to employ your own staff or buy services directly from a care provider.

Individual service funds (ISF) where you choose a provider to look after your personal budget. You will work with your chosen provider to arrange services and support.

Commissioned services This is where we will find a provider to support you. However, this is subject to availability and will often have limited times available which means you may have more choice and flexibility having a direct payment or ISF.

Reviewing my support plan

We want to check that the support you have chosen is right for you. An initial review will be completed within the first three months and annually thereafter unless something changes.

What will a review cover?

  • check the outcomes identified are still relevant
  • your need or the need of a carer if you have one has changed
  • you are satisfied with your support
  • you wish to change the way your personal budget is managed
  • any new outcomes have been identified and these are eligible for support
  • if your financial situation has changed and if so request a financial assessment review

You can ask a family member, friend, your carer, an advocate, or a service provider to help you prepare for the review.

How do I make comments or complain about Dorset Council?

Dorset Council is committed to providing quality services to you, your carers and family. We welcome any comments as this helps us understand what parts of our service people like.

If you are unhappy about the service you have received and want to make a complaint, please speak to a social care worker or contact Dorset Council and ask for a copy of our complaints leaflet.

You can write to us at:

Complaints Team,


Business Reply Licence number


Dorset Council, Colliton Park,

Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XJ.


Or by telephone on 01305 221061


If you don’t want to talk directly to us, you can contact Healthwatch Dorset, an independent organisation that represents the views and wishes of people who use adult social care services in Dorset.

0300 111 0102

Accessibility statement

Dorset Council is committed to making its information and services accessible to all. If you would like any information in an alternative format please contact us:

01305 221000

Contact us

You can find further information about adult social care and support services provided by Dorset Council at:

01305 221016