Carer Benefits Advisory Group minutes: June 2016

Minutes for the meeting of the Carer Benefits Advisory Group on 8 June 2016.

Attendees and apologies


  • Beth Hall, CoSLA
  • Heather Noller, Carers Trust
  • Ellen Searle, Social Security Policy and Delivery, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Trish Brady-Campbell, Analytical Division, Scottish Government
  • Suzanne Munday, MECCOP
  • David Formstone, Social Work Scotland
  • Dawn Abel, Social Security Policy and Delivery, Scottish Government
  • Carole Jones, Social Work, Falkirk Council
  • Ed Orr, Programme Management Office, Scottish Government
  • Kevin Fallon, Carers Policy, Scottish Government
  • Paul Traynor, Young Adult Carers Policy and Campaigns Officer, Carers Trust
  • Robert McLaren, Programme Management Office, Scottish Government


  • Nicola Dickie, CoSLA
  • Peggy Winford, Carers Policy, Scottish Government
  • Fiona Collie, Carers Scotland
  • Ian McPhee , Stirling Carers Centre
  • James Marshall, Stirling Carers Centre

Items and actions

Welcome and Introductions

1. The chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced Trish Brady-Campbell, Ed Orr, Kevin Fallon and Robert McLaren all from Scottish Government to the group. Trish is taking over from Mel Giarchi as analyst. The chair thanked James Marshall for his input to the group and advised that he would no longer be a member as he was moving to a new post.

Minutes of previous meeting on 25 April 2016 (paper CBAG 5/2016)

2. The previous minutes were agreed. Attendees agreed the role and remit of the two short life working groups (paper CBAG 5/2016) and provided suggestions for the Chair and membership. The groups would report back up to CBAG.

Update on social security post-election

3. New Ministers were now in place. The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities is Angela Constance and Jeane Freeman is the Minister for Social Security. In addition to the commitments in the SNP manifesto, on 25 June, the First Minister announced that the Government would consider the introduction of a young carer’s allowance to provide extra support for young people with significant caring responsibilities. The plan, subject to Ministerial agreement, was to undertake an initial mapping exercise of the financial and non-financial support available to carers and gather evidence on the needs of young carers to help identify gaps in provision. A short-life working group would then be set up comprising of all interested parties to consider options and make recommendation to CBAG and then Ministers. Scottish Government officials would keep CBAG updated on progress.

Consultation (paper CBAG 6/2016)

4. Policy officials introduced the draft chapter on carer’s allowance which would form part of the consultation. They explained that it was an early draft and likely to be subject to change, however, it was important that members got early sight on a confidential basis and were able to input now. There would be further opportunities to comment. The key points raised in the subsequent discussion were:

  • need to be clear on the purpose of the benefit
  • important to manage expectations
  • further clarify the questions
  • reflect the diversity of the caring population
  • highlight links to reserved benefits and Self Directed


5. The group then participated in a workshop and were asked to brainstorm on:

  • i) who are the hard to reach users and partners
  • ii) what mechanisms could be used to reach them
  • iii) how could their organisation help and what support did they need from the Scottish Government. Members fed back their findings – see Annex A.

Round up and next steps

6. The chair thanked everyone for their participation. Officials would revise the draft consultation in light of member comments and recirculate it, and develop launch and engagement arrangements taking into account the outputs of the workshop exercise. The other focus going forward would be the short term working groups and meetings would be set up shortly.

Action points

  • SG – to inform members of meeting dates for rest of 2016
  • SG – to circulate revised role and remit papers for short-life working groups
  • SG – to send out invitations to prospective members of each short-life working group and set up meetings
  • SG and CBAG – to circulate a revised version SG of the carer’s allowance chapter of the consultation paper for members comments
  • SG – to keep members informed about progress on Young Carer’s Allowance
Carer Benefit Advisory Group minutes - June 2016.pdf


Email: Ellen Searle

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