Social Security Experience Panels - Seldom Heard research programme: carers and care experienced

This report presents the main findings of the first wave of research with carers and care experienced people as part of the ‘Seldom Heard Voices’ research programme.

This document is part of a collection


The Social Security Experience Panels were established by researchers in the Scottish Government in 2017. Scottish Government researchers work with members to bring the voices of those with lived experience into the design of the new social security system in Scotland, as run by Social Security Scotland. There are groups of people with lived experience that are less likely to be represented on the panels, so the “Seldom Heard Voices” research programme was set up to address this gap. It ensures that groups who need to be treated with particular sensitivity and those who are marginalised or dispersed, also have a voice in designing Scotland’s social security services.

There are four groups identified as ‘Seldom Heard’ in this research programme. They are Mobile Populations, Vulnerable Groups, End of Life; and Carers and Care Experienced. For each group two waves of fieldwork are being undertaken.

This is the report for the first wave of the carers and care experienced strand. Blake Stevenson was commissioned by the Scottish Government to carry out the fieldwork which was undertaken between October and November of 2019. The analysis was carried out by Scottish Government researchers.

There are four sub-groups in this strand: care experienced people; kinship/foster carers and adoptive parents; single parents; and young parents under the age of 19.

The second stage of research is in progress at the time of writing and due to be published in 2022.



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