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Carers and caring

Carers rights, our duties and requirements

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives carers specific rights and places a range of duties and requirements on the local authority. The Act came into effect on 1 April 2018, extending and enhancing the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing, so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring.

The Carers Charter will help carers understand their rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.

You have a right to an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carer Statement (YCS)

We have a duty to offer an adult carer support plan or Young Carers Statement to anyone we identify as a carer and prepare one for anyone who accepts this offer. We must also prepare an adult carer support plan for anyone who meets the definition of a carer if that person requests one.

An Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) starts with a conversation where you discuss your caring role and what is important to you in your life. It helps plan what could help you work towards your goals.

An Adult Carer Support Plan Partnership Statement has been developed in Lanarkshire that sets out the respective roles of Lanarkshire Carers and the Health and Social Care Partnerships.

The Coalition of Carers in Scotland has produced an informative guide about what to expect when you make an Adult Carer Support Plan:

Not every carer will want an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carers Statement but having one in place is a good way for you and others to understand your support needs and what can be done to help. You may require one to access certain types of support with your caring role, particularly if your needs are deemed to be critical or substantial.

If you are a carer over the age of 18 and living in South Lanarkshire, you can request an Adult Carer Support Plan from either Lanarkshire Carers or your local Social Work office.  If you care for someone living in South Lanarkshire but you live elsewhere, you can request an Adult Carer Support Plan from us. Lanarkshire Carers may also be able to assist you, particularly if your support needs are not deemed to be critical or substantial.

The timescales for preparing an Adult Carer Support Plan will be discussed with you when offered or requested and will depend on your individual circumstances. A typical timeframe would be 28 working days. However, this will be dependent on a number of factors including the availability of staff resources, the complexity of the individual circumstances, and the input from relevant third parties.

However please note that, if you care for someone with a terminal illness, these timescales are regulated. In these circumstances, you should be offered an Adult Carer Support Plan within 2 working days of being identified as a carer. A substantive conversation should take place within 5 working days and an Adult Carer Support Plan produced within 10 working days of you requesting or being offered one.

All Adult Carer Support Plans will include details of when it will be reviewed and what would trigger a review, for example, if you moved to another local authority area, the residential status of the person you cared for changes, or any other change in circumstances that would need to be considered.

A young carer statement (YCS) is intended to ensure that young carers are seen as children and young people first and foremost and are protected from undertaking caring responsibilities and inappropriate tasks regarding their age and maturity. It is a written record of the key points of a conversation you have with your support workers or other professionals, like a teacher. This conversation helps to find out more about you, your caring role, your goals, and what is important to you. More information on what to expect from a Young Carer Statement can be found on the YoungScot website.

If you are a carer living in South Lanarkshire aged 18 and under, or aged 18 and still in school in South Lanarkshire, you can request a Young Carers Statement by either making a referral to Action for Children or the Health and Social Care Partnership.

You have a right to support to meet any unmet eligible needs

SLHSCP has a duty to provide support to any carer who has identified unmet needs (which meet our local eligibility criteria) that cannot be met through support provided to the person being cared for, or through general local services. We must consider whether this support should take the form of or include a break from caring. This is usually determined through an assessment of eligible needs as part of an Adult Carer Support Plan/Young Carer Statement conversation (see assessment of eligible needs below for more information).

If this assessment deems your support needs to be substantial or critical and eligible needs are identified you may receive a carers resource allocation through self-directed support. If you are allocated an indicative individual carers budget you can decide which of the four Self-directed Support funding options to choose. You can also seek information about Self-directed Support from Take Control or from your local social work office.

We also have the power to support carers with identified unmet needs that do not meet our local eligibility criteria. This can include signposting and referring to organisations that are better placed to help you. If this assessment deems your support needs to be low or moderate, there are a range of options available to you through general local services, including the carer-specific services offered by Lanarkshire Carers and Action for Children.

We have a duty to set local eligibility criteria for support

We have worked with carers to adhere to the Scottish Government’s instructions that local authorities set their own eligibility criteria for carers, recognising that there needs to be the fairness of provision, whilst offering support to carers on a preventative basis.