Attendees and apologies
- Lauren Baigrie, Member of Scottish Youth Parliament
- Eddie Follan, CoSLA
- Pamela Forsyth, Scottish Government, Programme Management and Delivery
- Thomas Grant, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
- Catherine Henry, Scottish Government, Communities Analysis Division (CAD)
- Rab Mackay, Scottish Government, Social Security Communications
- Kirsteen Macleod, Scottish Government, Social Security Communications
- Hannah Martin, Carers Trust Scotland
- Megan Martin, Edinburgh Young Carers Forum
- Stephen Martin, Scottish Government, Fraud and Overpayment Policy
- Jo McCorriston, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre
- Eileen McMurdo, Scottish Government, Social Security Business Analyst
- Lois Ratcliffe, Edinburgh Young Carers Forum
- Jessica Tabarias, Scottish Government, Programme Management and Delivery
- David Taggart, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
- Paul Traynor, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy, Chair
- Peggy Winford, Scottish Government, Carers Policy
- Nancy Woodhead, Scottish Government, Bus and Local Transport Policy
- Angela Toal, CPAG
- Paul Gault, Young Scot
- Kiran Haksar, Scottish Government, Carers Policy
- Gordon Hanning, Scottish Government, Concessionary Travel
- Louise Morgan, Carers Trust Scotland
- Ellie Sandercock, Shared Care Scotland
- Ellen Searle, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
- Nicola Smith, Scottish Government, Social Security Policy
- Lisa Tweedle, Scottish Government, Social Security Agency Implementation
Items and actions
Welcome and actions from previous meeting
1. The Chair welcomed members to the fourth meeting of the Young Carer Grant Working Group. Previous minutes and actions had been agreed in advance via email and are on the Scottish Government website. Actions from previous meetings were completed or are on track to be completed by agreed timescales.
Young Carer Grant updates
2. The Chair noted that an update paper and draft Equality Impact Assessment had been circulated prior to the meeting and invited members to comment further now or via e-mail after the meeting. No comments were received.
3. The lead Scottish Government Analyst working on the Young Carer Panel provided a verbal update. It was explained that the focus groups with young adult carers are running well and seven sessions have taken place so far.
4. The Chair emphasised that it’s important to recognise the range of experience and expertise of Working Group members. It was reminded that members should be mindful of phrasing and language used to ensure all members are able to participate in the discussions and to not cause any confusion or offence.
5. The Chair reiterated that the Young Carer Grant is aimed at supporting young people who have significant caring responsibilities and that it is not the intention of the grant to promote young people to provide additional hours of unpaid care to become eligible.
6. In response to a question about Carer’s Allowance eligibility the Chair noted that in the future, there may be opportunities to do things differently in Scotland. The Scottish Government will give careful consideration as to how best to ensure that the new social security powers are tailored to the needs of the people of Scotland, and will ensure that individuals, communities and organisations have their say on this. The Scottish Government Analyst then encouraged members to promote Experience Panel engagement to their networks, as there will be opportunities to input into wider social security developments through this.
Action: Scottish Government Analyst will share information about future recruitment opportunities for the wider Experience Panel.
7. Following previous input from the group, this policy had been developed on the basis that the caring role would be verified via the Young Carer Statement or by a suitable third party professional.
8. The Scottish Government Programme Management and Delivery lead working on Young Carer Grant explained that a number of service design concerns have been identified after further investigation of this verification model. These have included that a high number of data sharing agreements would be required for this process to be viable. It was also identified that we require permission from the cared for person to access their benefit record to check that they are in receipt of a qualifying benefit. This will also require a data sharing agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions who currently administers these benefits. Additionally it was explained that some concerns were raised about the willingness of professional third parties to verify the caring role if they are not familiar with the young person’s caring role.
9. An alternative model of verification was proposed to the group for views. In this model the cared for person would verify that the applicant is providing unpaid care for them and provide consent for Social Security Scotland to access their benefit record to confirm that they are in receipt of a qualifying benefit at the same time.
10. The Scottish Government Business Analyst lead and Programme Management and Delivery lead working on Young Carer Grant facilitated an exercise to provide the Working Group with an opportunity to comment on advantages of this approach and to raise any concerns that they have with the verification option.
11. There were a range of positive comments received during the exercise, including that the proposed model could be viewed as being more streamlined and less onerous for the majority of applicants, but concerns were raised about ensuring young carers are safeguarded and provided with the support they need.
12. It was highlighted by the Scottish Government Fraud and Overpayment Policy lead that preventing fraud would be preferable to enforcement action and it was important to try to build this into systems and processes. This is part of the fundamental principle of ensuring that the right people get the right payments at the right time.
13. The Working Group were in general agreement to adopt the proposed new model for Young Carer Grant verification. The full results of this exercise are set out in annex A.
Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)
14. This section of the agenda focussed on discussing the impact of the grant to business industries - including private, public and third sector organisations – and provided members with an opportunity to feed into the development of the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.
15. Members were asked to consider the public, private and third sector and list any particular positive or negative considerations that the Young Carer Grant policy may have to these sectors. Additional funds into the economy was frequently listed as advantageous, whereas the added resource required to support young carers by the third sector was repeatedly listed as a concern.
Action: Scottish Government Policy Lead to incorporate input from the Working Group into the draft Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.
16. The full results of this exercise are set out in annex B.
Young Carer Grant Regulations
17. The Chair presented a Young Carer Grant Regulations overview paper which was circulated at the meeting. The Regulations for Young Carer Grant will provide the details of the new benefit including (but not limited to) the eligibility criteria, payment level and application windows.
18. It was reminded that the First Minister has announced that the Young Carer Grant will be introduced from Autumn 2019. Scottish Government officials are currently working on draft regulations and are planning the public consultation on Young Carer Grant for later this year.
Action: Scottish Government Policy Lead will seek views on the proposed consultation documents and regulations at the next Working Group.
19. A short discussion took place about student carer support in further and higher education. The CPAG member explained that a recommendations report was launched following the Independent Review of Student Financial Support in Scotland. However it was noted that there was no specific recommendation championing additional separate support for student carers. The member stated that there has not been a formal response provided by Scottish Ministers yet about next steps following the report.
Action: Scottish Government Policy Lead to contact Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) and the Scottish Funding Council to request if there is a further update available on student carer support and the Independent Review of Student Financial Support in Scotland.
20. It was agreed that the group would meet again over the next two months, the date of which will be decided by members via online poll.
Action: SG Secretariat to issue a doodle poll with date options for May meeting.
|Scottish Government Analyst will share information about future recruitment opportunities for the wider Experience Panel.||SG Analyst||Within three months of the meeting.|
|Scottish Government Policy Lead to incorporate input from the Working Group into the draft Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment.||SG Policy Lead||Within one month of meeting.|
|Scottish Government Policy Lead will seek views on the proposed consultation documents and regulations at the next Working Group.||SG Policy Lead||Within three months of the meeting.|
|Contact Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) and the Scottish Funding Council to request if there is a further update available on student carer support and the Independent Review of Student Financial Support in Scotland.||SG Policy Lead||Within one month of the meeting.|
|Issue a doodle poll with date options for next meeting.||SG Secretariat||Within one week of the meeting.|
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