Young carers

What is a young carer?

A young carer is someone under the age of 18 years who may physically or emotionally caring for someone in their family because of an illness or disability. If you are aged between 18 and 25, see our young adult carers page.

Some of the ways young people care for someone are:

  • staying in the house a lot to be there for them
  • helping them to get up, get washed or dressed, or helping with toileting
  • doing lots of the household chores like shopping, cleaning and cooking
  • looking after younger brothers and sisters
  • providing emotional support or a shoulder to cry on.

The Oxfordshire Young Carers Service

The Oxfordshire Young Carers Service works with schools, professionals and services to support young carers and their families across the county.

This information is for young carers, parents, carers and/or professionals working with young carers and their families. Telephone 07919298263.

Who to talk to

There might be a teacher, school nurse or a young carers group at your school where you can chat about how things are going at home.

Your school might be part of our Young Carers Schools Standards and already be 'Young carers Aware'.

There are an estimated two young carers in every classroom so you are not alone.

You can talk to your GP or a professional in your local community such as a youth worker about the caring you do and how you feel about it.

The Care Act 2014

Support and care is changing for young carers and their families under new legislation the Care Act 2014 and Children and Families Act 2014.

These changes mean that:

  • young carers under 18  have the right to a young carers needs assessment, no matter who they care for, what type of care they provide, or how often they provide it.
  • the assessment looks at appropriate levels of caring the young carer may be doing, the young carer’s needs for support, their other needs and wishes, their education or work, health, hobbies or activities and also looking at a whole family approach.
  • young carers aged between 14 and 19 are entitled to a young carers transition assessment that will consider how to prepare for adulthood and how to raise and fulfil their aspirations.

Young adult carer needs assessment

If you are aged 18-25 years you are a young adult carer and will be entitled to an adult  carers' assessment.

Contact us

For any other information about the Young Carers Schools Standards or information on how to support young carers please call or text the Oxfordshire County Council Young Carers Team on:

Useful local contacts


Oxfordshire County Council's website for children, young people and young adults living in Oxfordshire. The website advertises local play and leisure opportunities, clubs, services and information on how to get involved with things like Youth Parliament.

South and Vale Young Carers’ Project

South and Vale Carers offers a range of trips for young carers specifically for 8 to 13 year and 13 to 18 year olds. Trips are free for young carers to attend. All those booking onto a trip will be visited by our Project Worker in advance of going on the trip to chat through their needs and caring role. Normally one trip is arranged each month.

Monthly trips and activities are offered to give young carers a break and a chance to meet up with other young carers.

Two age groups: 8-12s, and 13-17s.

South and Vale Project can offer additional support to young carers to South and Vale Area, they are an independent charity and offer respite support.

Carers Oxfordshire

Carers Oxfordshire, is a service provided by Oxfordshire County Council for adult carers of adults in partnership with Age UK Oxfordshire.

The service aims to:

  • Make it easier for carers to find help and support
  • Listen to carers' needs and
  • Give information, advice and support to carers.

Contact Carers Oxfordshire by:

You can find information about latest carers' news, grants, breaks and local groups.

Cruse Bereavement

Special counselling for young people.

  • Tel: 0808 808 1677 (free phone helpline available Monday - Friday, 0930 - 1700)
  • Website:

Rethink Carer Support

For young carers of adults with mental health difficulties

Tel: 01865 455607

Oxfordshire Carers' Voice Forum

The voice of all carers in Oxfordshire, consultation with carers, participation and advice

Carers Voice Oxfordshire,
2nd Floor,
The Charter
OX14 3LZ

Positive Activities Oxfordshire

Positive Activities are events, activities, clubs, groups and organisations which provide young people with places to go and things to do. They can be supportive, educational, or just fun.


Useful national contacts

The Children Society

The Children’s Society’s include project works with voluntary and statutory services to support children and young people who care for parents or siblings who suffer from chronic illness or disability.

Health information for teenagers

Carers' Line

Advice line from the National Carers' Association

Tel: 0345 573369

Caring Matters/Carers' UK

Advice service on legal aspects of care



24-hour free and confidential help line for children and young people


General youth information

Guide to Young People

Youth Net

An organisation that guides and supports young people, enabling them to make educated life choices, participate in society and achieve their ambitions.


Information Shop for Young People

Part of a national network of 'shops' initiated by the National Youth Agency. It provides a free and confidential information, advice and support service for young people between the ages of 14 and 25.


Young Minds

Telephone helpline service to parents and Carers in the UK who have a concern about their child's emotional problems or behaviour