Support for unpaid carers


Find out if you are a carer

In the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 'caring' is understood as providing what is necessary to the cared-for person to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

It doesn’t need to be a certain kind of care, or take a certain amount of time, for a person to qualify as a carer. A carer doesn’t need to live with the person they care for.

There are many examples of what carers do and these include:

  • helping someone to wash, dress or take medication
  • practical support with shopping, attending appointments or going to social events
  • emotional support such as encouragement or reassurance

Young carer

You are a young carer if you are a carer (as above) and:

  • under the age of 18 or
  • 18 or over, but still attending school

Adult carer

You are an adult carer if you meet the criteria for a carer above and are aged 18 or over, and not attending school.

Kinship carer

A kinship carer (usually a relative or close friend looking after a child in place of their parents) can be a carer under the act, even where they have a kinship carer agreement with the local authority.

This is only for kinship carers who meet the other requirements of the meaning of carer above, so not where the care is simply because of the child's age.

For more information about carer definitions view the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016.

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