Are you a young carer?

Young carers look after someone at home who has extra needs, for example an illness, disability or addiction
Girl looking after a younger, disabled sister

A Young Carer is anyone under the age of 18 years who cares for someone, or is going to need to care for someone, because of an illness or disability. This can be for any kind of illness or disability, including mental health issues like depression, and addictions. This would be happening as part of their home life, and would not include doing it as a job or volunteering. If you're not sure if you are a young carer, ask an adult you trust like a teacher or a worker at a children and family centre.

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 because of their or their parent's illness or disability
  • Providing emotional support, for example encouraging, listening, or just being there for someone

If you think you might be a young carer, talk to your GP or someone at your school or college like a teacher, student services or your School Health Nurse. They will help you find support and further information.

Instant expert: Your teacher or whoever you tell, will talk to other services like the Locality and Community Support Service who will help them find services to support you.

Spending a lot of time caring for someone else can be stressful, and might make learning or socialising more difficult. It's important for you and your future and your family to get the best support as soon as possible.


Support Young Carers

Your school has to consider the needs of young carers. They even get inspected on it! So if you are a young carer, let your school know, so they can help.

If you are receiving any kind of service, they should check if you are a young carer. If you're not sure they know, always mention it.

Clubs and other groups are encouraged to "think young carer", so that if someone is having difficulties because they are caring for someone, they can make support available to help.

Did you know? That some activities that are available to young people with difficulties or challenges are available discounted or free. 

What's it like being a young carer?

This video about the emotional experience of being a Young Carer was made in Banbury with a group of young carers and Fusion Arts.

What the law says

A Young Carer is someone under the age of 18 years who may physically or emotionally care for someone  because of an illness or disability.

  • Young Carers under the age of 18 years can request an assessment
  • The assessment finds out what life is like for you and identifies your needs
  • It also looks at risks to your health, education, relationships and more

Some assessments are completed by schools, health nurses and some are completed by Children's Social Care. The assessment takes into consideration your wishes and needs and makes recommendations.

Young Carers groups

Some school have Young Carer's groups. When you tell people you are a Young Carer, you will be told about this and other support available.

There are also local and national support groups, who can help with advocacy, social opportunities, opportunities to have your say and more.

Find out more


Posted by Katie Southon
Posted ago

I have recently moved relocated from Devon to West Oxfordshire my children were registered as young carers in Devon and I want to find out how I would get them assessed and registered in our new local authority. One of my children has also got special educational needs, I want to get any advice I can on services they can be a part of to help them settle into life in Oxfordshire.

Hello, I edited your comment to remove the personal information.

When your children start at their school or college you should tell them that they are young carers - they can tell the school themselves, too. This is the normal route to get support in Oxfordshire. 

If you're still waiting for your school/college places you can contact Young Carers services in Oxfordshire directly:

Go to: and fill in the form explaining your circumstances and giving your contact details.

You can find lots of information for parents of young people with special educational needs from SENDIASS Oxfordshire - you can also phone them on 01865 810516. You can also explore services available in our Local Offer.

If your son is looking for a college place, an apprenticeship or work, then the EET Service can help - they support young people aged 16+. He can sign up to get support at or contact the EET Worker at your local Children & Family Centre.

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