A young carer statement is something every young carer in Scotland has a right to under the Carers Act 2016. A young carer is anyone who provides, or intends to provide care who is aged 18 and under, or 18 and still in school.
Your young carer statement will help to identify and highlight your personal goals and any support that you may require as a young carer, as well as record who is responsible for providing that support. It’s a summary of your caring role that you can use to let people like teachers and doctors know how they can support you.
You may have already completed a young carer statement in the past without realising what it was. If you think you may already have completed one, you can check with your local carers center, social work staff, or your school/college/university, who may have one on file for you. You can request a copy of this at any time and it must be provided to you.
What is a young carer statement?
A young carer statement is a written record of the key points of a conversation you have with your support workers or other professional, like a teacher. This conversation helps to find out more about you, your caring role, your goals, and what is important to you.
It can help to find out what things you enjoy doing outside of your caring role and what help you might need to continue to do them. It will also help to look at what help other people like teachers and doctors can provide to make sure that you aren’t doing anything you aren’t comfortable with.
What will the young carer statement cover?
Your statement will cover your personal circumstances, personal outcomes and identified needs, as well as what support is available to you. These must be included in all young carer statements in Scotland, but you might talk about some other things too. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to.
- Personal circumstances: Personal circumstances cover what your life is like, including who you live with, things you like doing and what you normally do each day.
- Personal outcomes: The personal outcomes that are included in your young carer statement are a way of describing your aims, goals or hopes. This could be something like wanting to be able to spend more time with your friends or feeling more supported at school.
- Identified needs: Identified needs are the things you need to achieve your goals or personal outcomes. You might already know what some of these needs are or you might need to have a chat with a support worker to decide them.
If any of your identified needs meet the criteria in your area, your local authority must provide you with support to meet those needs. The person supporting you with your statement can tell you more about these criteria and whether you meet them.
Your local authority also has to consider whether you would benefit from a short break. What this break looks like can vary depending on what works for you. This could include going to the cinema, getting sports equipment or even attending the Young Carers Festival in the Summer. Due to restrictions around COVID-19, your break might be different than what’s usually possible, but you will be supported in accessing something that is safe based on what is happening.
Do I have to complete a young carer statement?
No, completing a young carer statement is completely optional. If you say no, you can always change your mind later. If you ask to complete a young carer statement at any time, the support person must provide you with the opportunity to complete one.
Who do I speak to about getting a young carer statement?
The best place to go to discuss your young carer statement is your local carer center or young carer service. If you're not sure where your local carer center is, you can find out more at Care Information Scotland.
You can also speak to your class teacher, a guidance teacher or support staff at your school. You may also be asked by a teacher or support worker if you would like to complete a statement if they are aware of your caring role.
What happens with my young carer statement?
Once your young carer statement has been written, you will receive a copy of what was written and can choose who you would like to share it with. If you don't receive a copy, you can request one. It’s your document and you decide who gets to see it.
What happens when I turn 18?
When you turn 18, and leave school, you'll transition from a young carer to an adult carer. The Carers Act also gives adult carers the right to an adult carer support plan. This does the same job as your young carer statement and ensures you keep getting support. Any support you receive under your young carer statement will stay in place until your adult carer support plan has been completed. As always, you can go to your local Carers Center and they can help you with this transition or any other support you need. If you're over 18, the Scottish Government has more information on adult carer support plans.
Find out more about support available for young carers.