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Adult Carer Support Plan

If we’re regularly caring for a family member, or friend (who has a health condition or depends on us) then we have the right to request a free Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland, usually from the local council or our local carers centre.


Find out what help may be available from a Carer Support Plan and how to request one.

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What is it?

What is an Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland? 


In Scotland, we can request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Carer Support Plan. This Adult Carer Support Plan provides a framework to identify our personal outcomes and need for support alongside caring. 

This is usually carried out by our local council or our local Carer Centre. It intends to be preventative, meaning that we should receive any support we need to help us care from the council so that we avoid the chances of burning out.

I actually think I have had one, listening to this I think I have. 

- carer in our community during our Virtual Cuppa

How do I apply for an Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland?

In Scotland, we can request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP), or Carer Support Plan, from our local Carers Centre or council before we actually start caring on a regular or substantial basis. It can often start with a conversation (which might be with a local provider of carer support services) or self-filled questionnaire.

Some of the things an Adult Carer Support Plan will look at include:


  • How caring impacts our life physically, mentally and emotionally

  • If we are able, or willing, to carry on caring

  • Planning for emergencies

  • Planning for the future

  • Our own personal goals

Find your local carers’ service using this nifty tool to see how an Adult Carer Support Plan is carried out in your area. Or simply Google your "local council name + Adult Carer Support Plan".


Where to get one in Clackmannanshire

Get in touch with Falkirk & Clackmannanshire Carers Centre to request an Adult Carer Support Plan.

Where to get one in the Highlands

Make an appointment to talk about an Adult Carer Support Plan with Connecting Carers.

Where to get one in Stirling

Get in touch with Stirling Carers Centre to request an Adult Carer Support Plan.


After this, our Carer Support Plan will be agreed with us - covering the personal outcomes needs and how these will be met. 


The relevant piece of legislation is the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which gives further information.


Under the Act, a ‘carer’ is an individual who provides or intends to provide care for another individual. A carer can be caring for one or more cared-for persons. A cared-for person can have one or more carers. They don’t need to live in the same house.” 

An ‘adult carer’ is a carer who is at least 18 years old and not categorised as a ‘young carer’.

how to apply
who's entitled

Who is entitled to an Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland?

In Scotland, Carer Support Plans are available to unpaid carers - those of us who are regularly caring for a family member or friend with a disability, health condition or is vulnerable. This can be caring for our Mum, Dad, partner, sibling, grandparent, or even a friend who depends on us. 

If we’re caring for a child, an equivalent of an Adult Carer Support Plan is a young carer statement


Carer Support Plans are designed to assess our needs as a carer, identify our personal outcomes and determine what support or services could benefit us in our caring role. 

If we’re considering getting a Carer Support Plan in place, take a look at other carers’ top tips on preparing for one with their local council or local Carers Centre.

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Is an Adult Carer Support Plan in Scotland means-tested?

Carer Support Plans in Scotland are not means-tested, meaning that decisions on what support we receive should be made regardless of our financial situation.


The primary focus is on assessing our needs as carers, supporting us to identify our personal outcomes, and for the person completing our Adult Carer Support Plan to identify the appropriate support or services that can help us.

another one

Can I apply for another Adult Carer Support Plan?

What if we’ve already had a Carer Support Plan? Can we request another one? The answer is yes, you can request another carer support plan in Scotland even if you've had one before. 


This is because many things that can affect our caring circumstances, both for us and the person we’re looking after. Such as a progression or a (new) diagnosis, a change in our caring circle, our own health, our housing situation and much more.


These changes most likely mean we need different support to what was agreed in our initial Carer Support Plan.

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Carer top tip

As our caring situations evolve, it's beneficial to reassess and update the support plan to ensure that it addresses our current needs. We can simply contact our local Carer Centre or local council to initiate the process for a new or updated Carer Support Plan.

What support can I expect?

What support can I expect from an Adult Carer Support Plan?


Support can vary wildly, depending on our own needs, and also the area we live in. But some of things carers have shared they have received include: 


  • Respite to enable us a break from caring

  • Gardener

  • Gym membership

  • Physio sessions

  • Training in how to lift safely and use a hoist

  • Massage and therapy vouchers

  • Mobility equipment and house adaptations for cared-for

  • Stairlift

Individual payments for carers

Individual payments, if eligible, can help pay for many different forms of support to help us with caring. It will often be one-off payments and will have to be agreed based on our assessed needs following an Adult Carer Support Plan.


Things that these payments can be spent on:

  • Costs of home equipment or adaptations

  • Costs of respite care and short breaks

  • Costs of driving lessons 

  • Costs of social activities we enjoy to get us connected with our community

  • Subscriptions for our wellbeing such as the gym  


It’s important to note that we can’t spend our these payments on services towards the person we care for - it must be on us only. The person we care for may be entitled to their own payments through a Care Needs Assessment.

Direct payments for carers
5 top tips

Five top tips for getting the most out of an Adult Carer Support Plan

Carers in the Mobilise Community share five top tips on making the most of the help offered in a Carer Support Plan:


1. Be open and honest 

It’s not easy having to explain to someone we don’t know the ins and outs of our day-to-day caring role. But being as transparent as we can about our caring responsibilities, challenges, and needs means the more tailored the support plan can be.


2. Identify what we most need help with

Highlight what aspects of support are most crucial and would make a difference to us right now. Whether it's respite care, emotional support, financial help, or condition-specific services, identify what would make the most significant impact on our wellbeing.


If we’re finding it hard to pinpoint what we need help with, carers in the Mobilise Community have come up with a list of 10 questions that helped them prepare for a Carer’s Assessment - the England and Wale’s equivalent of a Carer Support Plan.


Each question breaks down different areas of life to help us really think about where, and how much of our lives are impacted by caring. 


3. Don’t hold back on describing our worst day 

This is a big tip that carers in our community often talk about when it comes to getting support. Whilst it’s not easy to do, (we might be unconscious of what a bad day is when things feel like it's going at 100mph) thinking about what our hardest days look like can help us access better support. Including the things that could’ve helped then, so we have support in place for if it ever creeps up again.


4. Regularly review whether we need a new plan

Our caring situation can quickly change, so it's important to have regular reviews of the support plan. This could be quarterly (every three months) or even once a year. So that we can ensure the support being offered to us is still as helpful as it could be. If it’s not, it’s best to request a new one. 


5. Keep records of everything

Keep a record of conversations, decisions, and services provided through the support plan. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, but noting down the top three things that were agreed on, whether over the phone, in-person or verbally is something our future-self might thank us for. Plus, if any agreed support is not in place, we can bring it up on record. 

For more tips on how to make the most of a Carer Support Plan, read helpful tips on how carers are making the most of a Carer’s Assessment (the England and Wale’s equivalent of a Carer Support Plan).


Next steps

Next steps

Right now might be a good time to pause and reflect on our current situation and see which areas we can improve in. 


Perhaps we’re finding there is a lack of time to do the things we enjoy. Or need financial help to cover the costs of driving lessons so that we can get to and from appointments easily. It might be that a simple home adaptation would make a big difference to our caring role. 


If you want to get started straight away, then take our free mini carer support plan - it takes just three minutes, and we’ll follow up with an email that includes a simple checklist on what to do next.

your experience

What's your experience?


Our guide is built around lived carer experience. If you have something to share that would benefit other carers or if you have a question we haven't answered (yet!), simply email us at

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