Policy briefing on young carers’ rights

Author: Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People
Categories: Basic Health and Welfare and Family Environment and Alternative Care

10th June 2014

The latest policy briefing published by Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People (SCCYP) outlines how the rights of young carers can be safeguarded in Scotland.

In the policy briefing, the Commissioner calls for young carers to be identified at an early stage and their support needs met equitably across Scotland. The briefing states that invisibility is the main barrier to young carers enjoying their rights; if their caring role is not recognised at an early stage, they can miss out on additional support at school and college.

The Commissioner also calls for a statutory requirement for Local Authorities and Health Boards to produce a Young Carers' Local Strategy, and that Named Persons and education and medical professionals should get specialist training to make sure they can correctly support young carers.

In the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), young carers should not feel they are discriminated against on the basis of their caring role (Article 2). They should know that whenever decisions are taken that affect them, their views will be sought and taken into account (Article 12), and that any decision will be taken in their best interests (Article 3). They have the right to a suitable education (Articles 28 & 29) as well as the right to health (including mental health) (Article 24).

Together responded to the Scottish Government consultation on forthcoming carer's legislation in April 2014.