Carer's Assessments (Scotland) Directions 2014

Directions made By Scottish Ministers Under Section 5(1A) Of The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968


Part of Section 3 - Key Principles

3.5 "Substantial and Regular"

3.5.2 In interpreting "substantial and regular" local authorities should -

  • focus on the impact of the caring role on the individual carer and their family
  • address the following questions:
    • is the caring role sustainable without additional support?
    • how great is the risk of the caring role becoming unsustainable without additional support?
  • take into account a range of factors, including:
    • the total time spent caring
    • type of caring tasks
    • intensity and pattern of caring
    • cultural background of caring situation
    • distances travelled to and from caring situation
    • number of people being cared for
    • nature of the cared-for person's needs and their likely duration
    • employment status of carer
    • whether other family members including children are affected by the caring situation
    • age of the carer
    • carer's physical and mental health
    • the history of the caring relationship
    • the carer's views
  • always take a wide view of the extent and nature of the carer's role as a whole.
  • take account of situations where the caring role is sporadic and difficult to forecast.
  • recognise that the carer's role may fluctuate, particularly where the cared-for person has mental health difficulties that recur periodically.
  • recognise that carers from minority ethnic groups may have different caring patterns, and may be caring in more than one location.
  • recognise that the needs of the cared-for person may be unpredictable, particularly where they have drug or alcohol problems.
  • recognise that carers may also need to combine caring responsibilities with other
  • family responsibilities or activities, including parenting, employment, or education.
  • always ensure carers are aware of how the decision on "substantial and regular" has been reached.

3.5.3 Caring at a distance

  • In interpreting "substantial and regular" local authorities should -
  • think carefully about the interpretation of "substantial and regular" in the context of carers who -
    • travel significant distances to carry out their caring role, especially where a carer looks after more than one person,
    • are caring for someone who uses or could use services in a different local authority area from the carers' own area.
  • work in partnership with the other authorities affected.
  • develop local agreements for handling such cases (usually the authority where the cared-for person lives should take the lead in assessing the carer).

3.5.4 Young carers

In interpreting "substantial and regular" local authorities should -

  • not adopt the same approach in interpreting "substantial and regular" for young carers that they would use for an adult carer in a similar role.
  • take account of the impact of the young person's caring responsibilities on their current and future development, as well as their ability to access social, leisure and educational activities.
  • take account of the age of the young person and the nature of the caring responsibilities.
  • ensure that a child or young person does not have a level of caring responsibility that may undermine their ability to participate in education, leisure and social activities.
  • ensure that the cared-for person is receiving sufficient other support so that the young person is not undertaking an inappropriate caring role that might amount to "substantial and regular".

3.5.5 Older carers

In interpreting "substantial and regular" local authorities should -

  • recognise that caring is likely to demand more of an older carer.
  • ensure they focus on the impact of the caring role on the individual.

3.5.6 Preventive approach.

In many instances, ensuring a carer has early access to advice and practical help will reduce the subsequent need for increased levels of support, and may prevent a future breakdown in the caring relationship.

In interpreting "substantial and regular" local authorities should -

  • recognise the value of early intervention to sustain carers.


Email: Kevin Fallon

Back to top