1. Under section 3 of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013 ("the 2013 Act") local authorities have a power to provide support to carers following an assessment completed under section 12AA of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 ("the 1968 Act") (carer's assessments relating to carers of those aged 18 or over) and under section 24 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 ("the 1995 Act") (carer's assessments relating to carers of those under the age of 18).
2. The local authority must consider the outcome of the assessment and decide if the carer has needs in relation to the care which he or she provides (or intends to provide) to another person. If it is then decided that those needs can be met either fully or partially by support, then the local authority can provide the support to the carer.
3. Where the local authority decides to provide support, the carer will then be given the choice of four options for self-directed support as follows:
- Option 1: direct payment to the carer;
- Option 2: the carer directs the available support;
- Option 3: the local authority arranges support for the carer; or
- Option 4: "Mix and match" meaning a combination of two or more of the options.
4. Further information on the meaning of these options is set out in the Statutory Guidance on Care and Support. [NB: this Statutory Guidance is being consulted on separately].
5. Section 18 of the 2013 Act brings support to carers within the scope of the rules in the 1968 Act which deal with when local authorities can charge for services they provide. This was done in order to give Ministers the power to make Regulations under section 87(5) of the 1968 Act to require local authorities to waive charges for the support provided to carers under section 3 of the 2013 Act.
Email: Alun Ellis