Helping carers plan for the future
Last month, the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force. This new legislation is designed to support carers’ health and wellbeing and to help make caring more sustainable.
It includes the right for adult carers and young carers to have emergency plans in place, and we’re proud that ENABLE Scotland’s award-winning Picking Up the Pieces project has made a real difference to carers’ peace of mind and readiness for emergencies.
Picking Up the Pieces is funded by the Scottish Government so that ENABLE Scotland can use our knowledge and expertise in supporting carers to help local authorities across the country to offer emergency planning to all carers in their area.
An emergency plan is a plan you set out for the care of an adult or a child in case of emergencies. It makes provisions for occasions when you are unable to fulfil your caring role, and it sets out the practical arrangements for short-term, unplanned spells when this is the case.
Having a plan in place can stop an emergency becoming a crisis and can give you and the person you care for peace of mind. Emergency planning is relevant to all carers, irrespective of the age of the carer, the age of the person they care for or the health needs or disability the cared-for person has.
The Picking Up the Pieces project has delivered 74 training and awareness sessions on emergency planning to frontline staff working with carers right across Scotland – from Dumfries and Galloway to Shetland! – plus 35 focused workshops with carers throughout the country.
We have engaged directly with over 2,000 adult carers and more than 450 young carers nationally since the start of the project, and we have distributed more than 10,000 emergency planning resources to date.
In fact, the Scottish Government’s Statutory Guidance on the implementation of the Carers Act specifically references ENABLE Scotland’s resources for the emergency planning element of Adult Carer Support Plans and Young Carer Support Plans.
And 14 local authorities across Scotland are now using our resources to support the carers in their area.
As well as our work with adult carers, we have this year alone delivered 12 workshops to 127 young carers on emergency planning and encouraging at home conversations. These workshops incorporated further information about the Act to help young people understand what the legislation is and to raise awareness of their rights.
Feedback from carers and council staff alike has been really positive, and we are confident that this project will leave a legacy of families and carers who feel secure and prepared for unexpected emergencies – ensuring that the people they care for always receive the care and support they require.
Kelly Munro is ENABLE Scotland’s Carers Lead