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Support and services for adult and young carers

What we can do to support you in this role

As a carer, you may need support to help you in your caring role.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into effect on 1 April 2018 to ensure better and more consistent support for carers so that they can continue to care, if they wish, in better health and to have a life alongside caring.

The Act introduces new statutory requirements for how we plan and support carers and young carers.

North Lanarkshire Carers Together and Lanarkshire Carers are agencies who may be able to offer advice and support.

Am I a carer?

In the context of the Act, a carer is defined as an individual who provides or intends to provide care for another individual.

A young carer is a carer who is under 18 years old or 18 years old and still at school.

In a change from previous legislation, carers no longer need to provide a substantial amount of care on a regular basis to be recognised as a carer under the Act.

The duties in the Act include:

  • A new right for carers to be offered or request an adult carer support plan (ACSP). This replaces the previous carers assessment and carers journey or young carers statement statement, setting out their personal outcomes and identified needs.
  • A duty for local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer's needs which meet the local eligibility criteria. We also have a power to provide support to meet carers' needs which don't meet these criteria.
  • A requirement for local authorities to establish and maintain an information and advice service for carers. We must also publish and review a short breaks services statement.
  • A duty for local authorities and health boards to 'take such steps as we consider appropriate' to involve carers and carer representatives in the planning and evaluation of services that support carers, including the preparation of the local carer strategy.
  • A requirement to consider support in the form of a break from caring, and the desirability of breaks from caring provided on a planned basis.
  • A duty on health boards to inform the carer and to invite their views before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital. These must be taken into account before the discharge of the cared-for person.

Information about young carers

GIRFEC (Getting it right for every child) is the overarching approach to supporting children and young people in Scotland. 

In addition, the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 entitles young carers to a young carer statement.

Find out more about young carers' entitlements.

Page last updated:
14 Feb 2024

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