Guidance for Unpaid Carer Advocacy in Scotland

This document, endorsed by Scottish Government and COSLA provides guidance for advocacy professionals who are interested in or are currently undertaking advocacy work with unpaid carers in Scotland.

Carers and advocacy

The Scottish Government and COSLA recognise carers as equal partners in the delivery of care[2]:

Carers should be recognised and treated as equal partners in care with other care and support providers. This means being involved in decisions affecting the person they care for and engaged in decisions about the development of /or changes to services in their area.

Carers should be able to make decisions about how much unpaid care they wish to provide to the person they care for.

In decisions with health and social care services relating to a cared-for person the views of the cared-for person are essential. However, carer involvement in decision-making processes regarding the cared-for person should be sought.

There is no right in law for carers to access advocacy. However, Caring Together: The Carers Strategy for Scotland 2010 - 2015 recognises that:

"Some carers, especially the most vulnerable, benefit from independent advocacy support to help them in many different ways, including supporting them in their dealings with health and social care and other professionals."

Advocacy provision for carers varies throughout Scotland and is not available in every area. In some areas the local carers' centre has a separate advocacy project with dedicated workers or volunteers providing advocacy support.

Other areas have independent advocacy projects with a dedicated carers' advocacy worker or protocols to ensure that any advocacy for carers is separate to advocacy provided to the person they care for.


Email: Peggy Winford

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