A group of 16 third sector organisations, including SCVO, have launched their shared ambition for the future of social care support in Scotland.

We want to redefine the principles behind social care support in order to help people take control of their own lives and contribute to their communities.

We’re also pushing for an independent commission to be set up to develop new approaches to funding, so we can better support those who need social care support in order to live their lives to the full.

In giving our backing to the project SCVO is sharing its ambition for a social care support system that ensures the rights of disabled people and carers. We think the system needs to be adaptable to local needs, while being delivered to national standards and outcomes.

The decision on whether or not to resource improvements in social care support cannot be put off for any longer.

We also believe that the resourcing of social care support is of vital economic and social importance.

Scotland spends £3.9 billion a year on social care support, yet many disabled people go without support to help them work, study, contribute to their communities and lead a normal life. Meanwhile carers, both paid support workers and unpaid family members, often say they’re struggling to cope, which impacts on the quality of care they can give.If things are to change for the better, then there are six priorities that must happen.

Social care support must:

  1. be seen as a matter of human rights;
  2. support full and equal participation of disabled people;
  3. support choice, empowerment and independence of disabled people;
  4. advance equality for disabled people, carers, and people – mainly women – engaged in the provision of social care support as paid and unpaid carers;
  5. be recognised as integral to Scotland’s inclusive economic growth;
  6. and investment in it must be recognised as an investment in Scotland’s social and economic infrastructure.

Looking at the provision that we have today, it is clear that we need to develop a shared commitment to quality, sustainable social care support infrastructure that puts disabled people in control of their lives and supports them as equal citizens in the economic, social, and cultural life of Scotland.

We know that government money is tight. But we have to seek the social care support that Scotland deserves.

We can’t continue with the current service which so often provides only healthcare in the community. Instead, we need a true support system to achieve the best possible outcomes and give proper respect to people’s human rights.

The decision on whether or not to resource improvements in social care support is a political choice. And it cannot be put off for any longer.

To ignore this fact will exclude far too many people from participating in Scottish life, and in playing their part in the future of a truly fair Scotland.

For more information, please visit the Social Care Ambition website or follow @SocCareAmbition.