supporting, developing and representing community groups,
voluntary organisations, social enterprises and volunteering
A manifesto for unpaid carers and young carers
The National Carer Organisations* in Scotland have jointly developed a Carers Manifesto for the upcoming Scottish elections.
The NCOs have a shared vision that all Scotland’s unpaid carers will feel valued, included and supported as equal partners in the provision of care. The NCOs aim to achieve this through the representation of carers and giving them a voice at a national level.
Support: Carers need support so they can sustain their caring role as well as having a fulfilling life outside caring. This is essential to carers accessing their human rights and being able to participate as active citizens. They should be fully involved in decisions on the future of social care and should always have timely access to the information they need to make an active and informed choice about the level of care, if any, they are willing and able to provide.
Health and Wellbeing: Carers should be supported to maintain their health and wellbeing and parties should commit to providing dedicated support for unpaid carers to do so.
Employment: Carers should have a right to reconcile caring with paid employment of their choice and, whilst employment law remains reserved, parties should commit to supporting carers to remain in employment using the levers available in Scotland.
Economic Wellbeing: All parties should commit to reforming Carer’s Allowance and increasing levels of benefits and to extending passported benefits to support unpaid carers
Support: Young carers and young adult carers must have support in place to protect them from undertaking inappropriate caring roles. Support should also allow them to make an active and informed choice about the level of care, if any, they are willing and able to provide and ultimately ensure that they have a fulfilling life outside caring.
Cross-cutting plan: All political parties should commit to developing a new cross-cutting action plan for children and young people with caring responsibilities, with clear actions that can be delivered at pace.
Equalities: It is vital that the needs of ALL unpaid carers of all ages are addressed. This means that the Scottish Government and partners must assess all activity intended to support unpaid carers to ensure that it will meet the needs of unpaid carers with protected characteristics. Measurable actions must be developed, in partnership with unpaid carers, to address any gaps and to respond to specific needs. This should include:
community languages being accorded the same status as BSL, particularly in relation to emergency public health messaging as evidenced by the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on BAME carers and cared for people; and
consideration of a Carers Impact Assessment across all policy areas to ensure that policy development are assessed against actual and potential impact on Scotland’s carers.
*NCO's: Carers Scotland, Carers Trust Scotland, the Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Caring Scotland, MECOPP, Shared Care Scotland, and the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance