Carer Benefits Advisory Group minutes: July 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the Carer Benefit Advisory Group on 24 July 2023.

Attendees and apologies


  • Angela Toal – Child Poverty Action Group
  • Anne Baldock – One Parent Families Scotland
  • Fran Holligan – COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities)
  • Joanne Pierce, Sharon McGuire, Scottish Government Carers Policy
  • Paul Traynor – Carers Trust
  • Richard Meade – Carers Scotland
  • Roisin Connolly – Connecting Carers
  • Shirley Morris – VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian)
  • Stephanie Millar - Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Hana Wilde, Jane Sterry (Chair), Kate Thomson-McDermott, Victoria Boal (secretariat), Scottish Government Carer Benefits Policy


  • David Anderson, Scottish Government Social Security Analysis, Forecasting and Evaluation
  • Mike Brown, Social Work Scotland

Items and actions

Future of the Carer Benefit Advisory Group (CBAG)

A general discussion was held on the future of the group, including on remit, membership, how meetings are held and how often. The consensus was that the meetings have been helpful in providing members with a voice in the development of carer benefits, and should continue in a similar way. Suggestions for improvement included:

  • dates for the next four meetings should be proposed in advance to give people as much notice as possible. For other ad hoc meetings, the use of polling to confirm the most suitable date will continue to ensure that as many members can participate as possible
  • we would work towards having non-SG co-chairs at each of the meetings
  • that we would aim to have alternate meetings in person throughout the year, but always ensure colleagues were able to join online if necessary
  • on a review of current membership, no specific gaps were identified but there was agreement to further consider having unpaid carers directly represented either as permanent members of the group, as ad hoc invites to enable us to seek input from relevant individuals on specific points of interest, or as part of any sub-groups set up to look at specific issues. It was agreed that this would be re-visited at the meeting after next

Join up for Carer Support Payment

Officials provided details regarding signposting and join up for Carer Support Payment, building on the high level update in the updates paper which had been sent to members prior to the meeting. Members were able to review the ‘meet the client’ learning module, providing comments and feedback. A number of Group members offered to work with Social Security Scotland colleagues to develop content and training to ensure client advisers had a rounded understanding of the role and needs of carers. It was agreed by the Group that it would be helpful to be able to consider in more detail the planned communications approach for the launch of Carer Support Payment.

Scottish Commission on Social Security report 

Officials took the Group through the report by the Scottish Commission on Social Security on their scrutiny of the draft Carer Support Payment regulations.

There were no items raised under any other business.

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