Young Carer Grant Working Group minutes: October 2017

The group will provide their perspective and expertise to help inform the development of detailed policy and processes of the Young Carer Grant.

Attendees and apologies


  • Peggy Winford, Scottish Government, Carers Policy
  • Sonny Davidson, Carlie-Mae Gowans, Margaret Murphy - Edinburgh Young Carers Project
  • Ellie Sandercock, Shared Care Scotland
  • Angela Toal, CPAG
  • Louise Morgan, Carers Trust
  • Ellen Searle (chair), Jane Sterry, David Taggart, Lindsay Brown - Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
  • Leila Akhoundova, Kayleigh Ellis , Mel Giarchi, Ruari Sutherland - Scottish Government analysts
  • Niall Davidson, Scottish Government, Programme Management
  • Lisa Tweedle, Scottish Government, Social Security Agency Implementation
  • Kirsteen McLeod, Scottish Government, Communications and Delivery
  • Eileen McMurdo, Scottish Government Service Design


  • Nicola Smith, Scottish Government, Social Security policy,
  • Beth Hall, CoSLA

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

1. The chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the Young Carer Grant Working Group, and emphasised how their input would be essential to delivering a Young Carer Grant by autumn 2019 that achieved the policy intent of supporting young carers with substantial caring responsibilities. She noted that local authorities were key stakeholders whose input was vital, and that they had been unable to field a representative due to competing priorities. It was been agreed to formally take CoSLA’s input on the minutes.

Action: SG to send CoSLA representatives an early draft of the minutes to allow for their input.

Setting the Scene

2. The group was reminded that this payment will be very different to other carer and disability benefits being devolved to the Scottish Government. It was a grant rather than a weekly payment, and part of a wider package of support for young carers. This will include a Young Scot card developed for 11-18 year old carers, free travel for recipients of the Young Carer Grant from 2020-21, and developments to the Modern Apprentice scheme.

3. It was noted that the grant is to be paid, on a non-discretionary basis, to 16, 17, (if still at school) 18 year olds who are:

  • caring for someone in receipt of the middle or higher rates of DLA/PIP/AA/AFIP for an average of 16 hours per week for a minimum of three months
  • not in receipt of Carer’s Allowance
  • resident in Scotland, in line with the residency requirements for other benefits

4. The chair highlighted the social security and carer outcomes which the grant should help deliver, particularly that young carers feel they are treated with dignity and respect, are supported to look after their own health and well-being, improve their quality of life and reduce any negative impact of caring, and that they can access a range of services.

5. SG delivered a presentation with further information on the grant. In subsequent discussion, members noted that current criteria may leave out young carers of people with substance misuse issues, as that person may not be in receipt of a disability benefits. It was noted that people with substance misuse could be eligible for disability benefits, and that there is an opportunity with the new powers to link people to this support. It was agreed that this issue should be considered further.

Action: SG to draft a note to support consideration of this issue in delivering the policy intent through the Grant.

6. In response to questions, SG noted that the reason that 18 year old carers needed to be at school to be eligible was that this was for consistency with the definition of a young carer used in wider carer policy. It is simpler to consistently use a single definition, and would allow for better dovetailing of services for young carers.

Verification of Caring Options Appraisal

7. Members split into three subgroups to consider verification for caring responsibilities for applicants , using a Multi Criteria Options Analysis. This is a five-step criteria, and was used to appraise different options for the social security agency. This is a tried and tested approach that allows the SG to take account of views from wider stakeholders.

8. Three options were considered. A - verification via the Young Carer Statement; B - verification via a suitable third party; and C - Verification via Young Carer Statement OR via suitable third party. Option C emerged as the preferred option.

9. The additional option of a different, more involved verification option for people for whom the main routes were insufficient was identified. The option of no verification was discussed, as this could extend the reach of the grant. However this would not provide sufficient robustness to deliver the policy intent, or prevent fraud. Full results are attaches at annex A.

Action: SG to consider the additional options identified; and ensure that results inform verification decisions.

Role, remit and membership of the Group

10. There was only time for a short discussion on this item, so it was agreed to progress this by correspondence. It was however agreed that if links to the concessionary travel element were being discussed, representatives from transport should be included, and that effective local authority representation, including with Health and Social Care Partnerships, should be agreed.

Action: SG to discuss local authority representation with CoSLA, and circulate the draft role, remit and membership for comments.

Any Other Business

11. SG analysts sought members’ agreement to provide their advice on an approach to recruitment for the Young Carer Grant Experience Panels. This would allow for the user voice to be central to development.

Action: SG to set up separate meeting with relevant stakeholders regarding Experience Panels recruitment.


Action For Date
Send CoSLA draft minutes first to allow for input SG secretariat Within four weeks of the meeting
Consider needs of young carers caring for people with substance misuse issues. SG secretariat and analysts Next meeting
SG to consider the additional options identified, and feed the results of options appraisal into service development, SG Service Design Next meeting
Adjust remit following on from group suggestions SG secretariat Next meeting
Organise YCG Experience Panels recruitment meeting SG secretariat End of October



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