As of June 2017 there are an estimated 788,000 people in Scotland who are caring for a relative, friend or neighbour. This includes 44,000 people under the age of 18. The Equal Partners in Care (EPiC) national framework supports the health and social care workforce to be more aware of carers and to work in partnership with them. Workers in housing, education and other sectors can also use the framework. We are working with NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to deliver EPiC.

’We recognise carers as equal partners in the delivery of care in Scotland and fully acknowledge the expertise, knowledge and the quality of care they give’
Caring Together and Getting it Right for Young Carers National Strategy for Scotland 2010 – 2015, Scottish Government

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016l was introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 9 March 2015 (Scottish Parliament, 2015a). The policy memorandum to the Act sets out the policy objective of the Act as seeking to further the rights of carers in order that they better supported and can continue to care, if they so wish, and to have a life alongside caring. The Act has the same ambitions for young carers but also seeks to enable them to have a childhood similar to their non-carer peers.

EPiC core principles

The core principles (or EPiC principles) for working with carers and young carers were created by carers, workers, employers, educators and trainers, health boards, local authorities, carer organisations and others.

Carers are:

  • identified
  • supported and empowered to manage their caring role
  • enabled to have a life outside caring
  • fully engaged in the planning and shaping of services
  • free from disadvantage or discrimination related to their caring role
  • recognised and valued as equal partners in care.

Each principle links to the knowledge and skills you need to work effectively with carers and the person they care for and makes sure workers in health, social care and other services have a shared understanding of how to do this.

Three levels of training and awareness

Each level shows the knowledge and skills workers need to work effectively with carers to achieve their outcomes.

We have a range of resources to support your learning at each level.

Inform, guide and evidence your learning

The core principles can be used to inform the design and delivery of workforce learning for carers, such as:

  • reflecting on your own practice
  • induction and continuing professional development (CPD) modules for staff
  • managers and employers can use the principles to help staff improve their practice with carers.

You can also use the EPiC framework alongside the leadership capabilities to guide and evidence your professional development. Find other resources and practice examples on the Social Services Knowledge Scotland EPiC web page.

Find out more or get involved

If you would like to know more about our work join our carers conversation on Yammer

You can also find more information on our Self-directed support and Health and social care integration pages. 

Employers – are you supporting carers in your workforce?

The Scottish Government and Carers Scotland launched the Carer Positive scheme to recognise employers who give extra help and support to carers in their workforce. The Carer Positive Award raises awareness of the growing number of working carers and highlights the strong benefits to employers of supporting, attracting and maintaining carers in the workplace. Carer Positive aims to encourage employers to create a supportive working environment for carers. See how you can get involved on the Carer Positive website.