Self Determination and Self Directed Supports

Although the terms self-determination and self-directed supports are often used interchangeably, they are actually two distinct concepts with unique implications.


Self-determination, being the broader of the two elements, is grounded in the five core principles of Freedom, Authority, Support, Responsibility, and Confirmation. These principles focus on all individuals’ right to decide how to live their own lives, the authority over their funding, the support to organize their resources, responsibility for the wise use of public resources, and confirmation of the important role that individuals play in their communities.


Self-directed supports are a subset of this larger concept and refers to a wide range of approaches designed to maximize choice and control for people who use long-term care services and supports. People self-directing their supports/services use a combination of natural supports and paid services to meet their long-term care need and personal goals. They work within a budget and arrange supports in ways that meet their needs.