What does it all mean?

The Carers (Scotland )Act 2016 is a piece of legislation that enhances the rights of Carers in Scotland.

The Carers (Scotland )Act 2016 identifies the duty of local authorities in supporting Carers, giving support and promoting health and wellbeing.  The introduction of an Adult Carer Support Plan will help identify Carer’s needs and provide individual plans to help Carers cope. The Act also identifies it is the responsibility of the local authorities to provide an information and advice service specifically for Carers to include Carer’s rights, advocacy, emergency and future planning and income maximisation.

The Act recognises every Carer will have different issues and things that matter to them. The Act is intended to recognise how valuable the Carers role is to society, it takes account of the important role unpaid Carers play in supporting people with care needs.

The Act will ensure unpaid Carers are recognised and supported for the role they play in society.  Understanding and recognising you are a Carer may help you find the services and supports you will benefit from and help you maintain your caring role.

The Act sets out Carers rights

The Act sets out the Local Authorities duties


A key feature of the Act relates to carer involvement, there is a duty to involve Carers in the assessment of the person they care for, as far as is reasonable and practical. Once an assessment is completed, arrangements will be made for regular reviews and the duty to involve Carers still applies.

Local Health Boards also have a duty to involve Carers, as far as reasonable and practical, when the person they care for is being discharged from hospital.

Carer involvement also relates to the planning and development of services. Carers must be involved in the development of the local Carer Strategy as well the local Short Break Services Statement.

Enhancing the rights of Carers in Scotland

The Act came into effect on 1 April 2018, it extends and enhances 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.

In the context of the Act, the care provision must not be under a contract or as a volunteer, it must be unpaid.  The person you care for must need support but not only (where they are under 18) because of their age.

Young Carers

Are under the age of 18 or over 18 but still attending school

Adult Carers

Are aged 18 and over and not attending school

Kinship Carers

Are looking after a child in place of the parents and meet the meaning of “Carer” not caring simply because of child’s age