Policy and Strategic Influencing in Scotland
Carers Trust Scotland works proactively to deliver measurable benefit to unpaid carers and local carer organisations through our policy and campaigning work.
Key areas of activity:
National Carers Organisations
Carers Trust Scotland is one of the six National Carer Organisations in Scotland. Together we 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 National Carer Organisations aim to achieve this through the representation of unpaid carers and giving them a voice at a national level.
Policy and consultation responses
Carers Trust Scotland responds independently and at times jointly as a member of the National Carer Organisations on proposed policies, laws, strategies and regulations. Through this work, we seek to represent the views and experiences of unpaid carers to further carers’ rights in Scotland.
Scottish Youth Parliament
Carers Trust Scotland is a national organisational member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. We support two Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) who represent young carers and young adult carers, aged 12 – 25 across Scotland.
Scottish Government Carers Rights and Support Steering Group
Carers Trust Scotland has been a key member of the Scottish Government Carers Rights and Support Steering Group (Previously known as Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 Implementation Steering Group) since its inception in 2016. The group brings together the main delivery partners, including local authorities, health boards, integration joint boards, COSLA, third and private sectors, local carer organisations, and other organisations who have an interest in, and a role to play, in the successful implementation of the Carers Act and wider national policy and strategy impacting unpaid carers in Scotland.
Scottish Government Carer Benefits Advisory Group
Carers Trust Scotland has been a member of the Carers Benefits Advisory Group since it was established in 2015. The group advises Scottish Ministers on developing policy for devolved social security benefits for unpaid carers in Scotland. This has included advising on the development of Scottish Carer's Assistance, Carer’s Allowance Supplement and Young Carer Grant to date.
Cross Party Group on Unpaid Carers
Carers Trust Scotland provides the Secretariat role for the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Unpaid Carers. The key purpose of the group is to ensure equality of opportunity for unpaid carers in Scotland.
Primary and secondary education in Scotland
Our primary and secondary education external affairs and policy work aims to identify possible areas for improvement for young carers and help to support education professionals to identify young carers.
We also provide free Young Carer Awareness Training to all education staff, including probationer and student teachers across Scotland.
Further and higher education in Scotland
Carers Trust Scotland’s further and higher education strategic influencing work aims to improve outcomes for student carers and to support further and higher education professionals to identify and support student carers.
We have worked closely with Scottish Funding Council, Student Awards Agency Scotland and college and university professionals to progress the student carer support agenda.
We have also developed Going Further for Student Carers and Going Higher for Student Carers awards to help colleges and universities to take a whole institution approach to identifying, supporting and reporting on student carers.
Mental health strategic influencing
Our strategic mental heath work aims to influence decision makers at all levels within NHS, local authorities and Scottish Government to consider the impact of unpaid caring on mental health and wellbeing and the challenges experienced by mental health unpaid carers of all ages.
Triangle of Care: supporting carers of people experiencing mental health problems in Scotland
Triangle of Care is an alliance between service user, mental health staff and unpaid carers in an attempt to ensure clear and consistent communication and information is provided across all mental health services.
The Triangle of Care resource is based on six self-assessments for services to complete and produce action plans against. This ensures that unpaid carers (of all ages) are identified and supported; staff are ‘unpaid carer aware’ in engaging and working with unpaid carers in partnership; protocols for sharing information and dealing with confidentiality are in place; a staff lead is responsible for ensuring unpaid carers are communicated with; unpaid carers receive information at relevant points in a patient’s journey towards recovery; and that mental health staff are aware of carer support services within the community and online so they can signpost and/or refer an unpaid carer to an appropriate place of help/advice/support.