The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into effect in April 2018, extending and enhancing the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their health and wellbeing so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, and have a life alongside caring.
Adult Carers have the right to an Adult Carer Support Plan
Each local authority must offer an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) to anyone they identify as an adult carer. They must prepare an Adult Carer Support Plan for anyone who accepts this offer or who specifically requests one. They must also provide support to any carer who has identified needs (which meet their local eligibility criteria) that cannot be met through support provided to the person they cared for, or through general local services available to them.
Click here to find out about your rights as a carer (Carers’ Charter)
What is an Adult Carer Support Plan?
An Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) helps you to think about the support you might need as a carer, both now and in the future. It can help you, as well as others you engage with, identify and better understand your support needs. It will help determine who can best provide the support you need, whenever you need it, so you do not reach crisis point.
It starts with a conversation where you discuss your caring role; how this impacts you and what’s important to you. The conversation will be structured in a way that looks at various aspects of your life and caring circumstances, such as:
The type of care you provide
Who else is supporting you with the caring role, such as family and friends, other organisations and professionals
Your ability to manage or cope with the caring role
How caring impacts your physical and emotional health and wellbeing
Your ability to have a life alongside or out with caring
How caring impacts on your relationships
Your ability to work, access education or training
The financial impact of caring
Your living environment
How involved and valued you feel as a carer; are your views and opinions taken on board, do you feel listened to
Emergency, Future and Anticipatory Care Planning
The legal aspects of caring
Your ability to have a short break from caring
If you are willing and able to provide care
This conversation will be focussed on you, helping you to identify your support needs; what outcomes you want to achieve; what you can do to achieve those outcomes yourself and what others can do to support you. It will take into account the circumstances in which your adult carer support plan should to be reviewed, such as a change in health of the person you care for or your own health. A review date will be agreed with you to check progress and ensure the agreed outcomes are being achieved.
This conversation will be documented in your Adult Carer Support Plan, in a way that you and others can understand. You can be given a copy of your plan and you can share it with anyone you wish.