New strategy to improve the lives of unpaid carers.
A new National Carers Strategy will drive forward long-term changes to improve the lives of unpaid carers across Scotland.
It follows extensive engagement with carer organisations, carer centres, local government, and unpaid carers themselves. The strategy recognises the challenges of the cost crisis and COVID-19 recovery and supports long-term change that will allow carers to care for their loved ones in a way that balances all other aspects of their full and busy lives.
Recognising that unpaid carers come from all walks of life, the strategy also aims to ensure that their importance to society is recognised and that carers voices are represented and heard in national policy making.
Some of the actions in the strategy include:
- working with employers to support flexible and inclusive workplaces for those with caring responsibilities
- supporting unpaid carers to direct them to appropriate resources during the cost crisis
- investing in local carer support and short breaks for carers and delivering a new right to breaks from caring
Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“We want Scotland to be a place where all carers are valued for the contribution they make and can provide the right support for the people they care for while living full lives. No-one should need to put their life on hold because they provide care to a loved one.
“The Strategy sets out how we will support unpaid carers to care for loved ones without the financial worries and social isolation. 1 in 8 of us cares for someone, and we should be able to do that without having to fight for support, recognition, and quality of life.
“It provides a coherent picture of what the Scottish Government is doing to build a sustainable future for unpaid carers. This includes the development of longer-term options for improvement to Scottish Carer’s Assistance and on-going work to consider a Minimum Income Guarantee.”
Martyn Sloan, unpaid carer representative, Dundee IJB said:
“I welcome this latest strategy from the Scottish Government, their willingness to continue to engage with carers on all matters that are affecting them and the ongoing funding through the Carers Act shows that the government of Scotland values unpaid carers. The strategy document puts that commitment down in black and white.”
Don Williamson, Chief Executive, Shared Care Scotland on behalf of Scotland’s national carer organisations said:
“The strategy helpfully sets out government action across a range of policy areas that will, we hope, ensure its resources for carers are directed to where they will be most effective. We must now work together to ensure it delivers for carers and protects their health and wellbeing as we face up to the challenges ahead.”
The National Carers Strategy was published on Wednesday 21 December.
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