Self-directed support (SDS) is a major policy initiative introduced by the Scottish Government to promote personalised services by redefining the relationship between the citizen and the state regarding social care supports. Informed choice is one of the underpinning principles of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013.

Transitions between children’s and adult social care services for disabled young people are recognised internationally as being challenging for the young person, their families and services. This dissertation will explore the phenomenon of informed choice in relation to the policy of self-directed support for disabled young people in transition from child to adult social care supports.

The theoretical approach to the research study is that of critical realism and in particular realistic evaluation. The research involved multiple qualitative methods involving secondary analysis of qualitative longitudinal interview data, and primary interviews with a range of stakeholders. The study developed middle-range theories and hypotheses concerning the facilitators and barriers to informed choice for disabled young people in transition.

Self-directed support is entering the implementation phase of the policy cycle in Scotland and this study will inform emerging policy, practice and future research in self-directed support for disabled young people in transition.