Young Carer Grant: interim evaluation

This report presents findings from the interim evaluation of Young Carer Grant. It aims to provide learning about the overall implementation of the benefit over the first 18 months of delivery, and the extent to which the short and medium-term policy objectives of Young Carer Grant have been met.

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Although Young Carer Grant is fully rolled-out, its impacts for individuals can only be assessed more fully after at least 3 years from the roll-out, by which time eligible young carers will have had a chance to receive multiple payments. We intend to commission a further evaluation to report in 2023/24 on these carers' experiences. This evaluation only considered the impact of the first payments and relied predominantly on qualitative data from commissioned research, research from Social Security Scotland and Official Statistics.

The evaluation findings suggest that Young Carer Grant was welcomed and viewed broadly positively by applicants, recipients and stakeholders. As outlined, it also appears to be meeting its overall aims: to help young carers improve their own quality of life by taking part in opportunities which are the norm for their non-caring peers and to provide some recognition of their unpaid caring role. In addition, stakeholders felt that the grant had the potential to open up access to other support.

Though the application process and delivery of the benefit was generally viewed positively, the commissioned research did outline some considerations designed to improve the experience of Young Carer Grant. These mostly related to the promotion of the grant and how the grant is understood by young carers, as well as the eligibility criteria and application process.

Similarly, while there is evidence of Young Carer Grant having a positive impact – on young carers' ability to do things that are the norm for their non-caring peers, on their sense of choice and control, on their mental wellbeing and on their feelings of recognition – there are limitations to what a financial payment can achieve.

However, the impact of Young Carer Grant should not be considered in isolation and, as outlined, there are many current or future Scottish Government initiatives are designed to address these considerations and contribute to delivering on the wider government outcomes for carers in time.

The issues highlighted in this evaluation will be considered when reviewing benefit promotion activity and the application process. More broadly, the findings will be considered when developing future Young Carer Grant policy and Scottish Carer's Assistance, to complement existing and planned interventions to support carers both through social security and at a wider government level.



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