Your rights as a carer
If you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for another person, there are specific laws relating to carers giving you certain rights. These include the right to:
- an assessment
You can find out more information about your rights in the following Acts:
- Carers Recognition and Services Act 1995
- National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990
- Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968
- Children (Scotland) Act 1995
- Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002
Young carers rights
The UN Convention on Children’s Rights says all children and young people have the right to:
- have full account taken of their best interests
- receive education and development opportunities
- express their views and have them taken into account
- have access to leisure, recreation and cultural activities
- live without discrimination
All organisations involved with children and young people in Scotland are working towards the same aims – to make sure all Scotland’s children are safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected and responsible and included. Young carers have just the same rights as other children and young people.
The law says that local authorities have a duty to assess the needs of young carers to find out if they need any help. The Community Care and Health Act (Scotland) 2002 says they are entitled to an assessment whether or not the person they look after is being assessed for community care services. Young carers can also get an assessment as “a child in need” under the Children Act (Scotland) 1995. Social work may also assess the needs of the person being cared for and find them more help if they need it.
If you're a young carer, or know someone who is, you can contact your local social work office to ask for an assessment.