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Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

Duty to prepare young carer statement
Section 12 - Duty to prepare young carer statement

34.This section creates an equivalent in relation to young carers to section 6 in relation to adult carers. Subsection (1) defines what a “young carer statement” is, namely a statement prepared by the responsible authority that sets out a young carer’s identified personal outcomes, any identified needs and any support to be provided by the responsible local authority to the young carer to meet those needs. Subsection (2) places a duty on the responsible authority so that where they identify a person as a young carer, the responsible authority must offer the person a young carer statement. The process for identifying those outcomes and needs will be set out in regulations under section 14. Section 15 gives more information about the content of the young carer statement. Sections 19 and 20 determine who the responsible authority is in relation to a young carer.

35.Subsection (3) requires the responsible authority to prepare a young carer statement if the person accepts an offer made under subsection (2) or the person requests a plan in accordance with subsection (4).

36.Subsection (4) applies where a person who appears to the responsible authority to be a young carer requests a young carer statement: that is, if a young person self-identifies as a young carer and the responsible local authority agrees that the young person comes within the definition of young carer under section 2 of the Act.

37.Subsection (5) provides that subsection (3) will apply whether or not the young carer also requires a child’s plan in accordance with section 33 of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. So a young carer, who may have a child’s plan under that Act because he or she has a wellbeing need which requires a targeted intervention, will always have a young carer statement as well, focussing distinctly on the young carer’s needs as a carer.

38.Subsection (6) provides that where the responsible authority, in relation to a young carer, is not also the responsible local authority, the responsible authority must not provide the young carer statement to the young carer without the approval of the responsible local authority. This is because it is the responsible local authority which would actually provide support to the young carer to meet any needs that are identified.

39.Subsection (7) requires responsible local authorities, when exercising their functions concerning the preparation of the young carer statement, to do so in a manner which encourages equal opportunities and in particular observance of the equal opportunity requirements. ‘Equal opportunity requirements’ means the requirements of the law for the time being relating to the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination between persons on grounds of sex or marital status, on racial grounds, or on grounds of disability, age, sexual orientation, language or social origin, or of other personal attributes, including beliefs of opinions, such as religious beliefs or opinions (which is the meaning given in Section L2 of Part 2 of schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998).

40.Subsection (8) defines “responsible authority” for the purposes of Chapter 2 as having the meaning given by sections 19 and 20. It also defines “responsible local authority” for the purposes of Chapter 2 as the local authority for the area in which the cared-for person resides.

Section 13 – Young carers of terminally ill cared-for persons

41.This section imposes a duty on the Scottish Ministers so they must by regulations prescribe timescales for the preparation of young carer statements in relation to young carers of cared-for persons with a terminal illness. The meaning of ‘terminally ill cared-for person’ is given in section 7(2). This power is subject to the affirmative procedure (see section 42(2)).

Section 14 – Young carers: identification of outcomes and needs for support

42.This section is equivalent to section 8 in relation to adult carer support plans. Under this section, the Scottish Ministers may make regulations about the identification of young carers’ personal outcomes and their needs for support. Such regulations could include provision about—

  • how personal outcomes and needs for support are to be identified;

  • the process for doing so (including arrangements for the involvement of young carers and cared-for persons);

  • who may carry out identification;

  • the sharing of information about young carers and cared-for persons for the purpose of identifying personal outcomes and needs for support;

  • the factors to be taken into account in identifying young carers’ personal outcomes and needs for support;

  • the circumstances in which young carers’ personal outcomes and needs for support should be reviewed.

43.Regulations under this section will be subject to the affirmative procedure (see section 42(2)).

44.Subsection (2) also requires the local authority to consider the impact on the young carer of having one or more protected characteristic (within the meaning of section 149(7) of the Equality Act 2010) when assessing a young carer’s personal outcomes and needs for support. The protected characteristics in section 149(7) of the Equality Act 2010 are age, disability, gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.

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Text created by the Scottish Executive department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills

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