Everything You Need to Know About The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force on the 1st April 2018.

The Scottish Government says:

The Act extends and enhances the rights of carers and aims to better support carers on a more consistent basis so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, in good health and to have a life alongside caring.

Find out how it might affect you if you are a young carer and what rights you have.

Who is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides or intends to provide care for another person.

But not if this is only because of the cared-for person's age (where they're under 18) or because of a contract or as voluntary work.

Who is a young carer?

A young carer, in addition to the description of a carer above, is someone under the age of 18, or is aged 18+ and still at school.

The Young Carer Statement

Every young carer has a right to a Young Carer Statement that contains information about the carers' role and their own circumstances.

It should include:

  • The extent to which the young carer is able and willing to provide care
  • How far the nature and extent of the care provided is appropriate
  • What personal outcomes matter in order to have a life alongside caring and to improve their own health and wellbeing
  • Support available to young carers locally
  • Any support which the responsible local authority intends to provide.

Who is responsible for providing a Young Carer Statement?

The local authority is normally responsible for offering a Young Carer Statement to anyone identified to them or who appears to them to be a young carer, if the young carer requests one.

But, it might not always be the local authority.

The "responsible authority" can also include:

  • The local authority the young carer attends a public school in if it's different from where they live, or
  • People in charge of the grant-aided or independent school the young carer attends.

Find out more about the Young Carer Statement.

The Right to Support

All carers have a right to support to meet any eligible needs they may have.

The "responsible authority" must provide support to any carer who has identified needs laid out in their Young Carer Statement, which meet the local eligibility criteria, that cannot be met through support provided to the cared-for person or through general local services.

The local authority may ask another organisation to provide support to you on its behalf, these may be:

  • Third-sector and voluntary organisations, such as a charity,
  • Local carer centres, or
  • Other national or local services.

More information

To find out more about what is available to carers, how to access support and what it means to be a young carer, visit our Young Carers page.