Getting It Right for Young Carers
Legislation and Relevant Strategies
 
Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 Legislation
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 will be fully implemented by April 2018. There are specific provisions in the Bill for young carers around identification, assessment, involvement in care and support planning. Local Authorities will be duty bound to recognise and prepare a Young Carer Statement that summarises the needs and actions that should be taken to address any barriers that young carers face. Statements should be prepared for carers under 18, or 18 and over if they are still at school.
 
The statement should identify personal outcomes for the young carer and must contain information about:
 
•Impact of caring on the young carer’s wellbeing (referencing SHANARRI guidelines)
•Extent to which young carer is able and willing to provide care
•Extent to which the nature of the care provided is appropriate
•Support which is needed, if any
 
In Highland the Child’s Plan process will provide the vehicle for meeting this legal requirement. For some, the Young Carer’s Statement will be short and simple and can be recorded in pastoral notes on SEEMiS, or on a Form 1. Young carers in high end caring roles require a more detailed plan and their needs and personal outcome should be summarised in a Child’s Plan. Where a young carer already has a Child’s Plan to address other identified needs the statement should be incorporated within the existing plan to ensure there is a focus on the impact caring has on the young person. The statement should be regularly reviewed to account for any changes in caring and family circumstances.
 
Highland Practice Model
The components of the practice model have been designed to ensure that assessment and information about children and young people is recorded in a consistent way by all professionals. This should help to provide a shared understanding of a child or young person’s needs and clarify how best to address concerns. The model and the tools which support it can be used by workers in adult and children’s services and in single or multi service/agency contexts. This is particularly pertinent when assessing the needs of Young Carers.
 
Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
GIRFEC is the overarching approach to supporting children and young people in Scotland and to encourage inter-agency working to deliver the right support at the right time for every child in Scotland.
 
The Young Carers Strategy for Scotland: 2010–2015 Getting It Right for Young Carers: The Young Carers Strategy for Scotland 2010 - 2015 states: ‘Young carers may require additional support to help them make the most of their school education and be included fully in their learning. Local authorities have a duty to provide this.’ The focus is on improved identification of young carers, assessment, information and advice, health and well-being, carer support, participation and partnership.
 
Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 and 2009 introduces a framework for providing for children and young people who require additional support with their learning for any reason. The Act places certain duties on local authorities to identify and monitor the additional needs and the support provided, and respond to parents’ request for an assessment. 
 
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)
EMA is payable to eligible 16-19 year olds in Scotland.  
Carers of this age group who may miss school or college due to their caring responsibilities should be encouraged to let the education institution know about their family situation.  Within the new EMA guidance, young carers are recognised as being vulnerable and entitled to additional flexibility around entitlement.