Young adult carers

two young men - one in a wheelchair

What is a young adult Oxfordshire carer?

A young adult Oxfordshire carer is someone aged 18 to 25 who provides unpaid support for another adult who lives in Oxfordshire. The cared-for person may be a partner, family member or friend, with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction who could not manage without this help.

If you are a carer aged under 18 please see our young carers' pages.

Are you a young adult carer?

Some people may look after a partner, family member or friend, but do not think of themselves as a ‘carer’.

The 2011 census identified more than 375,000 young adult carers in the UK, but this is believed to be a huge underestimate of the true numbers as many young adults hide their caring role or do not identify themselves as carers.

A young adult carer may have been taking on an emotional and/or physical caring role for some time and not realise.

They may have been doing things such as:

  • staying in the house a lot to be there for someone
  • helping someone to get up, get washed or dressed, or helping with toileting
  • doing lots of the household chores such as shopping, cleaning and cooking
  • providing emotional support or a shoulder to cry on
  • managing money and household bills
  • collecting prescriptions for someone
  • not looking for employment or attending college and or university because they are worried about leaving someone on their own.

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There is help and advice available to you.

Your rights as a carer

As a carer aged 18 or over, you have the right to: 

  • a carers' assessment
  • request flexible working from your employer (employees with 26 weeks service or more)
  • receive financial support through Carer’s Allowance if you are eligible
  • have your views taken into consideration by social services when they are deciding how best to meet the needs of the person you care for.

You may also have the right to:

  • receive assistance from social services, such as practical help at home.
  • respite care to give you a break.

See our advice pages for more information about your rights.

Carers’ assessment

If you are aged 18 or over and you are a carer you will be entitled to an adult carers' assessment. This will look at your caring role and you can request support for the person you care for if you feel it is impacting on your life.

To request a telephone assessment or to arrange face-to-face support:

Supporting you

Young Carers Team at Oxfordshire County Council. Telephone 07919 298263 or email

Carers Oxfordshire can help if you need support around college courses or getting a job or just need pointing in the right direction, please contact Merisha Anderson on 07557 430 882 or email

Emergency Carers Support Service can support carers by providing replacement care when carers suddenly or unexpectedly become ill, or have an accident which prevents him/her from providing care. 

South and Vale Carers Centre offer young carers, aged 8 to 25 years, free confidential advice by telephone or by pre-arranged appointments with an outreach worker at your home. Services include emotional support, respite day trips and activities. Advice hours are 10am to 4pm, Tuesday to Friday. Closed Mondays
Contact by:

Online support

  • The Carers Trust offer an online support network for young adult carers aged 16 to 25
  • Carers UK give expert advice, information and support.
  • Free Online Resource Rally Round.  Sometimes we all need a little bit of extra help and this is where family and friends can come in.   Rally Round is a simple online tool that can help.  You start by inviting friends, family and if you like professionals too, to form a support network. They can all add things that need doing, discuss details and volunteer to help. Texts and emails alerts remind everyone in the network who is doing what and when things are done. Rally Round is free for anyone supporting someone who lives in Oxfordshire:  Try it and see how it can work for you.


Being a carer is hard work, you need to look after yourself. There are so many demands on your time every day that can make it difficult to find time for yourself.  Stress can build up.  Looking after yourself is important when you're a carer.

Carers Oxfordshire offer free information and advice sessions, therapies, activities and wellbeing events for carers and former carers. To find out about the sessions and events that are currently available please check out our events calendar. Or contact Tracey Desmond at 01235 520463 or email: 

Health and wellbeing advice.

Learning, training and work

When you take on a caring role it can be easy to forget about your own needs and wellbeing. Taking time for yourself and for your own interests is important.

Learning for leisure

Learning for leisure and gaining new skills can help you while you are caring. It can bring you new opportunities and new friends and may help you move towards paid employment.

Training and career development

As a carer you may wish to go on a training course or improve your learning in another way.

This may be to help you prepare for returning to work or to update your skills in your current job. Local colleges can help you decide what sort of training is best for you and tell you about help with course fees, transport or childcare costs. Improving your skills and discovering new talents could help you find a job to suit you.

Getting into work

You may be looking for work for the first time, have been out of work for a while or be in work but looking for a new job. The skills you have learnt as a young adult carer will be valuable to an employer and can help you stand out.

Learning, training and getting into work.

Carers Trust provides an employment guide to help young adult carers who want to get into work.