A carer qualifies for support if they provide help and support to someone they know, such as a family member or a friend.
West Lothian Vision for Carers
"Carers are valued as equal and expert partners in care and that they are supported and empowered to manage their caring responsibilities with confidence. Carers remain in good health and have a life of their own outside their caring role."
A carer can be:
- Adult Carers - At least 18 years old but is not a young carer
- Parent Carers - An adult who cares for a child with a long-term illness or disability to a greater extent than would be expected in a parenting role for the age and stage of the child
- Young Carers - Under 18 or aged 18 and still remaining in school who cares for a sibling, parent or other family member who has an illness or a disability
- Kinship Carers - Where a child is looked after by extended family or close friends if they cannot remain with their birth parents
West Lothian Carers Strategy 2023-2026
is for all people who care for others regardless of whether or not they recognise themselves as carers. This strategy builds on the current strategy 2020-2023 and considers the key priority areas of the National Carers Strategy published in December 2022.
The strategy has been shaped by carers and their families and draws from a range of engagement activities undertaken in partnership. It sets out how we plan to achieve our priorities and outcomes to ensure that carers' physical and emotional health and wellbeing is supported, that breaks from caring are available, and that young carers are supported to be children first.
As a carer you have the right to support to meet your needs to support you to continue to care:
- Be offered or to request an Adult Carers Support Plan or Young Carers Statement
- Support to meet any identified eligible needs
- A short breaks statement (it is a duty of each local authority to provide this)
- Be involved in planning carer services
- A local authority information and advice service for carers
- Be involved by the health board in the hospital discharge process for the person they are or are going to be caring for
How do I apply for an Adult Carer Support Plan or a Young Carer Statement?
To request an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement, please contact your local social work office as detailed on this page.
What is an Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement?
The purpose of these is to look at the support you provide and determine your needs and outcomes as a carer. It takes into account all your own commitments - family, work, study, housing, social life, leisure activities, your age, health, and any support already in place.
What happens next?
The worker will discuss your Plan or Statement with you to decide what level of eligibility for support you have. The local carer eligibility criteria can be viewed and downloaded:
The worker will then help you to plan your support - this may include:
- Information and advice
- Information about housing, equipment and adaptations
- Technology like flood/heat detectors, wandering devices, home security and Careline support
- Welfare benefits advice
- Short breaks from caring
- Who to contact in an emergency
- How to arrange an assessment of need for the person you are supporting
The worker will also offer information about the local carer support service:
Carers of West Lothian
LIVINGSTON, EH54 6AX
Telephone: 01506 448000
What are our Service Standards?
We aim to ensure that:
- The worker meets with you when and where it suits you
- You can have a friend or advocate with you
- Someone to translate or sign for you can be arranged
- You will be given a copy of the completed Adult Carer Support Plan or Young Carer Statement
Carers of West Lothian have shared with us some stories from carers they work with. Please see below.