Information

Young Carer Grant regulations: consultation

We are consulting on the development of the policy and regulations for the Young Carer Grant, a new benefit which will be delivered by Social Security Scotland.


Annex B: Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) summary

The Young Carer Grant is intended to enhance the quality of life for young carers in Scotland. Evidence has shown that many young adult carers are more likely to be living in low income households, feel socially isolated and have poorer physical and mental wellbeing than non-carers. The Young Carer Grant improves the support available to young people who are eligible for the grant, and indirectly to those children and young people who are cared for by someone in receipt of the grant. The Young Carer Grant is expected to have positive impacts on those children and young people directly affected. This policy provides the opportunity to raise awareness among young carers of their rights to the Young Carer Grant, in addition to furthering positive discussions about the role and contributions young carers make to our society. The principle of co-design is central to developing the Scottish Government's approach to delivering the Young Carer Grant.

Who have we involved in our deliberations?

1. There was a specific question in the Social Security Consultation on how the Scottish Government could improve the support given to young people with significant caring responsibilities - beyond what is currently available. This question received 60 responses (29 individual and 31 from organisations) and respondents were in general agreement that there is a need for additional provision of support for young carers.

2. The Scottish Government have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders through advisory groups including the Young Carer Grant Working Group and the Carer Benefit Advisory Group. Specifically the Young Carer Grant Working Group has been instrumental and inputted at each stage on the development and implementation planning of the policy detail. Representatives from Carers Trust Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group, COSLA, Edinburgh Young Carers Project, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre, the Scottish Youth Parliament, Shared Care Scotland and Young Scot are members of the Young Carer Grant Working Group.

3. We have engaged with some third sector organisations that support those with protected characteristics, to identify and mitigate barriers, where we can, to enable equal access to the entitlement.

4. We have also established the Young Carer Panel to ensure young people with lived experience can share their views and input into the development of the Young Carer Grant.

Data

5. The Scottish Health Survey 2012/13 [15] provides the most accurate estimate of the number of young carers in Scotland. It is estimated that 11,000 young adults meet the age requirements for the Young Carer Grant and have a caring role in Scotland. However they will not all qualify for the grant, due to not meeting all of the eligibility conditions. It is estimated that approximately 1,700 young carers will be eligible for the grant at the time of commencement.

6. Research indicates that young carers may often not recognise themselves as carers – and as such may be less likely to receive support for their caring role. Studies have suggested that this is especially common among some minority cultural and ethnic communities. [16] We are unclear at present how these may impact applications for the Young Carer Grant. It is likely therefore to be beneficial to the rights of young people to focus communications activity on raising awareness of caring roles and the support available.

7. Research produced by Carers Trust Scotland [17] about young carers in transition to adulthood is applicable to the Young Carer Grant. The research highlights the impact of caring on the education, mental health and wellbeing, and access to support of young carers:

  • 48 school days on average for young adult carers had been affected because of caring each year; this includes absence, lateness or leaving school early.
  • Young adult carers were four times more likely to drop out of college or university than students who were not carers.
  • A quarter of young adult carers in school had experienced bullying because of their caring role.
  • Young adult carers in work missed on average 17 days per year, and were late or had to leave early on approximately 79 days per year because of caring responsibilities.
  • 45% of young adult carers reported having mental problems.
  • Only 22% of young adult carers had received a formal assessment of their needs by their local authority.

8. Research from the Scottish Youth Parliament [18] found 74% of young carers were struggling financially and some were using student support funding to pay for basic family needs rather than to support study.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child ( UNCRC)

9. Our assessment of the impact of the Young Carer Grant policy on the relevant articles of the UNCRC is as follows:

  • Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child: The Young Carer Grant policy has been developed through consultation with and input from young carers, in particular through the Young Carer Panels, the Young Carer Grant Working Group and carer organisations. This policy will impact the lives of young carers and their contribution is crucial in shaping a successful policy.
  • Article 23 - Children with disabilities: Children and young people with a disability may be cared for by a young person who receives the Young Carer Grant, such as a sibling. This additional financial resource is intended to provide additional support to young carers with a significant caring role which should have an indirect positive impact on those they care for.
  • Article 26 - Social security: Young carers aged 16-17 years old - and those who have attained the age of 18 and still at school – who receive the grant will get some financial support. Children and young people who are cared for by a young carer in receipt of the Young Carer Grant will also benefit indirectly. The work to promote awareness and understanding of the Young Carer Grant will also consider how best to reach and inform young people who are entitled to this support.
  • Article 28 - Right to education: The Young Carer Grant also intends to help improve young carers' educational attainment. Research highlights and stakeholders report that young carers' education may be negatively impacted by the caring role, this could include their attendance or a perceived or actual pressure to start work to financially provide for themselves or the household. The Young Carer Grant aims to help deliver the key Social Security Outcome that carers are able to participate fully in society, and if they choose, can engage in training, education and employment opportunities, as well as social and leisure.
  • Article 31 - Leisure, play and culture: The Young Carer Grant aims to help deliver the key Social Security Outcome that carers are able to participate fully in society, and if they choose, can engage in training, education and employment opportunities, as well as social and leisure. By providing some financial support, these young carers may be able to access age appropriate life opportunities that are the norm for many other young people. This policy will therefore provide young carers in receipt of the grant more opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
  • Article 42 – Knowledge of rights: Under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 there is a requirement for local authorities to provide an information and advice service for carers, which includes income maximisation.

Getting it right for every child ( GIRFEC) wellbeing indicators

10. Our assessment of the impact of the policy on the relevant wellbeing indicators is as follows:

  • Healthy: The Young Carer Grant is intended to help improve the health and wellbeing of young carers by providing some financial support. Young carers may use the financial resource to pursue sport and fitness pursuits to help improve their own health and wellbeing. Consequentially, there could also be a positive impact on the health of children and young people who are cared for by a young carer in receipt of the Young Carer Grant.
  • Achieving: The policy is also intended to improve young carers' educational attainment by providing some financial support to help reduce the barriers that young carers may experience in accessing, sustaining and succeeding in education, employment or training. The funds could be used to purchase goods or materials that they require to pursue education, employment or training opportunities.
  • Active: The additional financial resource may help to improve the ability of young carers to take part in activities. The funds are expected (but not directed) to be used to pay for leisure and social activities, short breaks, or to purchase goods and services.
  • Respected: The principle of respect for the dignity of individuals is at the heart of the new Scottish social security system and specified in the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018. Young carers make an invaluable contribution to our society. This new grant is intended to recognise the immense contribution of these young people and ensure that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
  • Responsible: Young carers who receive the grant will be responsible for the financial management of it. The Young Carer Grant has been co-designed with young carers and this co-design will continue until the grant is implemented; including through the Young Carer Panel and young carer representatives who are members of the Young Carer Grant Working Group.
  • Included: The Young Carer Grant is intended to provide some financial support for young carers to help them in their role, addressing inequalities they may face as a result of caring – that is young carers may be less able to take part in social or leisure activities or take forward employment opportunities.

Conclusions

11. Based on the evidence gathered, the Scottish Government considers that the Young Carer Grant policy does not infringe upon the rights of the child as set out in the articles of the UNCRC, or the indicators of wellbeing as set out by the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014. Any impact of the policy should be neutral or positive.

12. The Scottish Government considers overall that the Young Carer Grant policy will have a direct positive impact on young carers and an indirect positive impact on disabled children and young people. This is because the proposals will not only comply with the UNCRC requirements but have the potential to advance the realisation of children's rights and wellbeing.

Contact

Nicola.Smith@gov.scot

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