The Scottish Government has provided answers to some of the questions you may have around the new Young Carer Grant.
Why is the Young Carer Grant only available to young carers aged 16-18?
- Young people aged 16-18 are often at transition point in their lives as they move into the adult world. They may be finishing school, getting a first job, undertaking further study or taking up new leisure opportunities. For many young adults with significant caring responsibilities, their opportunities may be limited by their caring role. The aim of the grant is to help young people improve their quality of life and take part in opportunities that are the norm for other young adults.
- Stakeholders have been unequivocal that providing payments to under 16's through the social security system is inappropriate. Making payments to carers under 16 carries the risk that the Scottish Government would put young people at risk of financial abuse and may be pressured into a caring role in order to get the payment.
How will young carers apply for the grant?
- The grant will be available from autumn 2019, and young carers will be able to apply online and by other methods.
- Decisions on the detail of the grant, like the design of the application form, and how we will verify the number of hours caring, will be informed by what young carers themselves tell us through our Experience Panels.
- The Scottish Government currently have over 2,400 volunteers signed up to help build a system that works for the people that use it. The Panels started this summer, and will run for 4 years, using the principles of working, designing and developing together a Social Security system that better meets the needs of those who will be using it.
Will young carers be able to see someone face-to-face in a local office?
- Yes. The Social Security Agency will provide a local presence, with a human face, where people can go to get one-to-one support someone from the agency if required. This will be based, wherever possible, in places that people already visit so that the agency’s services can be joined up with other related support. Depending on their preference people will also be able to engage with the agency through a range of additional options including online and by phone.
Why will free bus travel not be available until 2020/21?
- It will take time to put the systems in place and pilot the provision of free travel to young carers. We have to be sure that a roll out of free bus travel will be accepted across the bus network.
Why are you giving free bus travel to young carers aged 16-18?
- Free bus travel goes some way towards helping with young carers' travel needs for shopping, fetching prescriptions, staying on at school/college, and getting out and about for leisure and relaxation, too.
What about giving free bus travel to young people in full-time education?
- The Scottish Government constantly keep the eligibility criteria for the scheme under review and the current consultation will further inform this process. However, we do not propose to extend eligibility at this time to groups other than young Modern Apprentices.
What type of entitlements and rewards will be available for young carers?
- The Scottish Government want young carers to have more opportunities to make the most of their time away from their caring role and education.
- Young Scot has worked with a group of young carers to develop a scheme of tailored entitlements and rewards, such as sports and leisure activities. You can now find out more and sign up if you're a young carer and meet the eligibility criteria.
Will the young carers version of the Young Scot National Entitlement Card look different?
Young Scot and The Scottish Government will continue to work with the National Entitlement Card Programme Office (NECPO) board and young carers to look at how changes such as a young carer identifier symbol could better support young carers.
Find more information on the Young Carers campaign page.