Support for unpaid adult carers

Under the Carers (Scotland) 2016 Act we have powers and duties to support adult carers.

You are a carer if:

  • you care for, or intend to care for, another person
  • and you are not paid for the care you provide
  • and you are not providing the care through a voluntary organisation.

Adult Carer Support Plans

We have a duty to offer you an Adult Carer Support Plan, and prepare it if you want one. We will do this for every adult carer we identify, or for any carer who requests one.

The plan is tailored to you, and we use it to discuss the support you need in your caring role. We look at the care you give, and how this affects your life. We then use it to decide how we can help.

How we decide what support you get

You may get social work funding for those times when your Adult Carer Support Plan shows you need more help. We assess you as an individual, and you can get social work funding if you are eligible.

There are many other ways you can get help. For example, from:

  • friends and family
  • local organisations
  • charities such as VOCAL.

Breaks from caring

The VOCAL Midlothian website Wee Break has information about short breaks for carers who live in Midlothian.

Or contact VOCAL's carer centre, where you can get advice on arranging short breaks:

VOCAL Carer Centre
30/1 Hardengreen Estate
Dalhousie Road
Dalkeith EH22 3NX
0131 663 6869

If your Adult Carer Support Plan shows that you can get social work funding for a break, then we will work with you to ensure you get one. We normally do this via self-directed support.

Information and advice for carers

The carer support team at VOCAL offer information, support and advice. This includes:

  • advice on managing your money and benefits
  • emotional support, and support for each other
  • free training and events for carers
  • taking breaks from caring
  • planning for the future.

The Adults and Social Care team can tell you about other Midlothian organisations who give information and advice to carers.

Emergency planning

You may be worried about what would happen to the person you care for in an emergency. We will help you with emergency planning as part of your Adult Carer Support Plan. VOCAL can also help with this.

If the person you care for needs help from social work in an emergency, the Adults and Social Care Team will ask for a copy of the plan.

Enable Scotland: emergency planning

Caring for someone leaving hospital

If the person you care for is in hospital, you should be involved in their discharge. You have the right to be told about the discharge as soon as is practical, and to have your views taken into account.

We have a team who specialise in supporting people's discharge from hospital, and preventing avoidable admissions to hospital.

VOCAL also have a Carer Support Worker who can give you information, advice and support when the person you care for is in hospital.

Midlothian carers strategy

We will review the strategy in light of the new carers legislation which came in to force in April 2018.