Publication - Impact assessment

Young Carer Grant: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Published: 27 Jun 2019
Directorate:
Social Security Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781787819863

Young Carer Grant child rights and wellbeing impact assessment was consulted upon between 17 September to 10 December 2018, and was further refined prior to laying the YCG draft regulations on 20 June 2019.

15 page PDF

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15 page PDF

307.3 kB

Contents
Young Carer Grant: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment
Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA): The Young Carer Grant (Scotland) Regulations 2019

15 page PDF

307.3 kB

Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA): The Young Carer Grant (Scotland) Regulations 2019

Children’s Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) of The Young Carer Grant (Scotland) Regulations 2019

Publication Date: 

Policy/measure

Young Carer Grant 

Summary of policy aims and desired outcomes

The Young Carer Grant (YCG) is intended to enhance the quality of life for young carers in Scotland. It is expected to help these young people improve their health and education outcomes by offering financial assistance and have a life alongside caring. This will break down barriers that they can experience in accessing opportunities that are the norm for many other young people. YCG will also help to alleviate material deprivation and tackle economic inequality.

Directorate; Division;
Team

Social Security Directorate 
Social Security Policy Division  
Carer Benefits Team 

Executive Summary

YCG is a new policy and will be delivered on an entitlement basis and will consist of a £300 single payment. It can be applied for annually, for those young carers aged 16-18 with significant caring responsibilities. These young people are often at a transition point in their lives as they move into the adult world. They may be finishing school, getting their first job, undertaking further study or taking up new opportunities. For many young adults with considerable caring responsibilities, their opportunities may be limited by their caring role. The aim of YCG is to help young people improve their quality of life and help them improve their health and education outcomes.

Eligibility for YCG will require that the young person is caring for someone who is normally paid:

  • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component;
  • Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate; 
  • Disability Living Allowance for Children; 
  • Attendance Allowance; 
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit; 
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension; 
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment. 

Additionally to be eligible for YCG the young person must be providing care for an average of 16 hours per week for a minimum of three months. They must also be a habitual resident in Scotland and not be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

Research 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.[123] The grant will mainly affect young carers aged 16 to 18 and is designed to provide additional financial resource for those young people with significant caring responsibilities, with funds expected (but not directed) to be used to pay for short breaks, or to purchase goods and services.

The key Social Security Outcomes for carers that are relevant to this policy are that carers: 

  • are supported to look after their own health and wellbeing, improve their quality of life and reduce any negative impact of caring.
  • participate fully in society and, if they choose, can engage in training, education and employment opportunities, as well as social and leisure.
  • have an increased sense of control and empowerment over their lives. 

The policy aligns with both the Healthier, Smarter and Wealthier and Fairer Strategic Objectives, and contributes to the following National Outcomes:

  • We grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
  • We are healthy and active 
  • We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities, wealth and power more equally
  • We are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society
  • We respect, protect and fulfil human rights and live free from discrimination.

We consider that of the eight wellbeing indicators (Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included) set out in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, the policy relates to:

  • Healthy: Having the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health, access to suitable healthcare and support in learning to make healthy, safe choices.
  • Achieving: Being supported and guided in learning and in the development of skills, confidence and self-esteem, at home, in school and in the community.
  • Active: Having opportunities to take part in activities such as play, recreation and sport, which contribute to healthy growth and development, at home, in school and in the community.
  • Respected: Having the opportunity, along with carers, to be heard and involved in decisions that affect them.
  • Responsible: Having opportunities and encouragement to play active and responsible roles at home, in school and in the community, and where necessary, having appropriate guidance and supervision, and being involved in decisions that affect them.
  • Included: Having help to overcome social, educational, physical and economic inequalities, and being accepted as part of the community in which they live and learn.

Of the UNCRC considerations, the policy relates to:

  • Article 3 (best interests of the child): The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.
  • Article 12 (respect for the views of the child): Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. 
  • Article 23 (children with a disability): A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and, as far as possible, independence and to play an active part in the community. Governments must do all they can to support disabled children and their families.
  • Article 26 (Social Security): Every child has the right to benefit from Social Security. Governments must provide Social Security, including financial support and other benefits, to families in need of assistance.
  • Article 28 (right to education): Every child has the right to an education. 
  • Article 31 (leisure, play and culture): Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
  • Article 42 (knowledge of rights): Governments must actively work to make sure children and adults know about the Convention.

As stated previously, this policy improves the support available to young people who are eligible for YCG and indirectly to those children and young people who are cared for by someone in receipt of the grant. 

As with all of Scotland’s Social Security benefits, the principle of co-design is central to developing our approach to delivering YCG. The Scottish Government has also established the Young Carer Panel, which is a platform for youth volunteers aged under 25 from across Scotland to take part in a range of research opportunities to help shape YCG. We have held fifteen focus groups and engaged with more than 40 young carers so far. This engagement work is planned to continue until at least the launch of YCG and ensures young people with lived experience of caring can help to shape the new support for the young people of Scotland.

YCG is expected to have positive impacts on those children and young people directly affected and in implementing this policy it provides the opportunity to raise awareness among young carers of their rights to YCG, in addition to furthering positive discussions about the role and contributions young carers make to our society.

This CRWIA was informed by a range of evidence and consultations as detailed below.

Background

The Social Security powers that have been devolved through the Scotland Act 2016[4] gives the Scottish Parliament responsibility for Social Security expenditure. The Act provides specific responsibility for benefits for disabled people, those who are ill and carers. 

On 25 May 2016, Nicola Sturgeon First Minister of Scotland announced that the Scottish Government would consider the introduction of a Young Carer’s Allowance to provide extra support for young people with significant caring responsibilities. Officials gathered evidence from a range of sources to identify options for a Young Carer’s Allowance. This included mapping existing provision, consideration of existing evidence and wider Scottish Government policies, discussions with Stakeholders in the Young Carer’s Allowance Working Group, and a review of the responses to the Social Security in Scotland consultation. Further to cross portfolio Ministerial engagement, on 20 September 2017 the First Minister announced a new package of support for young carers, with YCG as its centrepiece, which will be paid by autumn 2019. 

The Scottish Government’s consultation on Social Security in Scotland ran from 29 July 2016 to 28 October 2016. Some 521 formal written responses to the consultation were submitted, of these 241 were from organisations, and 280 from individual respondents. Of the 241 organisations that responded to the consultation 81 were received from stakeholder groups relating to children/young people, equalities and human rights, disability and long term conditions, and carers. The independent analysis of the responses along with the Scottish Government response were published on 22 February 2017.[5] 

The Scottish Government consultation on YCG ran for
12 weeks from 17 December to 10 December 2018. A total of 75 substantive responses were received. Of these responses 56 were submitted by individuals and 19 came from organisations. 

The Social Security Act 2018[6] received Royal Assent on
1 June 2018. The details of YCG regarding eligibility, application windows, verification etc. will be provided by regulations, as secondary legislation. 

It has been agreed with the UK Government through the Fiscal Framework that any new benefits or discretionary payments introduced by the Scottish Government, which provide additional income for a recipient, will not affect their entitlement elsewhere in the UK benefit system.

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 Carer has been instrumental and inputted at each stage on the development and implementation planning of the policy detail. Scottish Government have engaged with some third sector organisations that support those with protected characteristics, to identify and mitigate barriers, where it can, to enable equal access to the entitlement. The Scottish Government has also established the Young Carer Panel to ensure young people with lived experience can share their views and input into the development of YCG.

The following was also announced by First Minister as part of the wider cross portfolio package of support for young carers: 

  • Recipients of YCG will be provided with free bus travel from 2020/2021, further to piloting. 
  • A bespoke carer element to the Young Scot National Entitlement Card, providing non-cash benefits for young carers aged 11-18, will be rolled out from June 2019.  

Scope of the CRWIA

Additional provision for young carers was included in the Scottish Government’s 2016 consultation on Social Security in Scotland. This was followed by a consultation on YCG carried out in 2018 which received responses from individuals and organisations that work with young carers. Scottish Government officials also gathered evidence from a range of sources to identify options for additional support for young carers as detailed below. 

Consideration has been given to the impact of the policy on the rights and wellbeing of children and young people in Scotland. YCG will mainly affect young carers aged 16 to 18. The policy should have a direct positive impact on young carers and an indirect positive impact on disabled children and young people who are cared for by a young person who receives YCG. The policy proposals will not only comply with the UNCRC requirements but have the potential to advance the realisation of children’s rights and wellbeing.

The Scottish Government has worked with both internal and external stakeholders, third sector organisations, carer services and young carers to develop the policy and the systems to deliver the assistance. The draft regulations were the first to be scrutinised by the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) who published a scrutiny report on YCG on 17 May 2019. The Scottish Government will publish a response to the recommendations made by SCoSS alongside this Impact Assessment. 

The Scottish Health Survey[7] 2012/13 provides the most accurate estimate of the number of young carers in Scotland. It is estimated that there are 44,000 young carers in Scotland aged up to 18. At least 11,000 young adults meet the age requirements for YCG 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 there will be approximately 2,400 young carers who will be eligible for the grant at the time of commencement.

Wider context

The CRWIA should be read in conjunction with the other impact assessments conducted for the policy (namely, the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment, The Island Communities Impact Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment), and for the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 as a whole[8]

The Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for YCG considers the potential impact of the policy on each of the protected characteristics which are also applicable to children and young people (for example race, religion or beliefs). A Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) will analyse the cost and benefits of the policy to businesses and the third sector. An Island Community Impact Assessment considers the potential impacts of the policy on people living in island and remote communities and any further barriers that they may face.

Children and young people’s views and experiences

A question on how the Scottish Government could improve the support given to young people with significant caring responsibilities was included in the consultation on Social Security in Scotland. Based on the responses received, there was significant support to improve the social security provision for young people with caring responsibilities.

Scottish Government Carer’s Benefits Team officials and Community Analytical Division colleagues also examined evidence from a range of studies, reports and surveys to support the views and experiences gathered of children and young people. These include:

a body of research over the last few years commissioned by academia and the national carers’ organisations.

Key Findings

To include impact on UNCRC rights and contribution to wellbeing indicators

YCG is a new policy which will have a direct impact on approximately 2,400 young carers per year who will be eligible for the grant.

Research on young carers 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[9]. 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 to carers amongst these groups. Through this the aspiration is to increase identification of young carers and in turn ensure they receive the support they are entitled to. The promotion of YCG provides this opportunity to increase awareness of young people’s rights and the rights of young carers set out in the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.

Research produced by Carers Trust Scotland[10] about young carers in transition to adulthood is applicable to YCG. This considers 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.

Evidence also shows that young carers have poorer physical and mental wellbeing than non-carers. Research from Carers Scotland[11] in 2017 found 57% of carers of all ages said their physical health had worsened and 74% said they had suffered mental ill health (for example stress, anxiety or depression) as a result of their caring role. Research from Carers UK[12] in 2017 found 81% of carers of all ages have felt lonely or socially isolated as a result of their caring role. Within this, a larger proportion of younger carers reported feeling isolated. 31% of carers overall said not being able to afford to participate in social activities made them feel lonely or socially isolated. Research from the Scottish Youth Parliament[13] 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.

Our assessment of the impact of the policy on the relevant articles of the UNCRC is as follows:

Article 3 - Best interests of the child

YCG originated from a public petition submitted on behalf of young carers by a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. The decision for the Scottish Government to take forward YCG is deemed in the best interest of young carers aged 16 to 18 years old with significant caring responsibilities. This will provide additional financial resource to help them  improve their quality of life and their health and education outcomes

Article 12 - Respect for the views of the child

YCG policy has been developed through consultation with and input from young carers, in particular through the YCG consultation, 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 YCG, 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. The application will be available in multiple formats to cater for different accessibility needs. 

Article 26 - Social security 

Young carers aged 16 to 18 years old who receive the grant will get some financial support. Children and young people who are cared for by a young carer in receipt of YCG will also benefit indirectly. The work to promote awareness and understanding of YCG will also consider how best to reach and inform young people who are entitled to this support. 

Article 28 - Right to education 

YCG 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 at school or a perceived or actual pressure to start work to financially provide for themselves or the household. YCG 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.

Article 31 - Leisure, play and culture 

YCG 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 activities. 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, artist, recreational and leisure activity. 

Article 42 – Knowledge of rights. 

Under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016[14] there is a requirement for local authorities to provide an information and advice service for carers, which includes income maximisation.

Also as part of the implementation of YCG and the wider devolution of a number of social security benefits, the Scottish Government is running the campaign to increase awareness and take up of benefits. The Scottish Government’s communications, guidance and marketing materials for YCG will aim to inform young carers about wider support available.

The most relevant wellbeing indicators for this policy are: 

Healthy: YCG 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 YCG

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. YCG has been co-designed; including through the Young Carer Panels and young carer representatives who are members of the Young Carer Grant Working Group. 

Included: YCG 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 – they may be less able to take part in social or leisure activities or take forward employment opportunities. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Based on the evidence gathered, the Scottish Government cannot identify evidence that the policy infringes 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. 

The Scottish Government considers that YCG 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.

The available evidence shows that there is a strong case to provide the proposed financial assistance and support to young carers. 

We have worked closely with stakeholders and young carers to develop the policy and will continue to do so until YCG is implemented; including through the Young Carer Grant Working Group and Young Carer Panels.  

Monitoring and review

Monitoring the impact of YCG will be a continuous process and where any unintended consequences are identified steps will be taken to rectify them. The Scottish Government will put in place a monitoring and evaluation plan for the YCG prior to implementation, and will engage with young carers and stakeholder organisations in developing this plan. 

On-going stakeholder engagement with key organisations – such as Carers Trust Scotland, CBAG, Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance, Scottish Youth Parliament, Shared Care Scotland and Young Scot –  will also provide the Scottish Government with an opportunity to monitor the impact of the policy.

The Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 also places a duty on the Scottish Ministers to report annually to the Scottish Parliament on the performance of the Scottish Social Security system during the previous financial year. The report is to describe what the Scottish Ministers have done in that year to meet the expectations on them set out in the Social Security Charter.  

The Scottish Government has established the independent Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS). YCG was the first benefit to be scrutinised by SCoSS. In total, SCoSS have made 17 recommendations on YCG detailed in their report on 17 May 2019. The Scottish Government will publish a response to the report and each recommendation alongside this Impact Assessment.

CRWIA Declaration

Tick relevant section, and complete the form.

CRWIA required

CRWIA not required

Authorisation

Policy lead

Nicola Davidson, Young Carer Grant Policy Lead, Social Security 

Date

19 June 2019


Contact

Email: nicola.davidson@gov.scot