Young Carers, Looked After Children, and Care Leavers

Young Carers

At Abingdon and Witney College we refer to young carers aged 16+ as young adult carers. This change acknowledges that as a student here you are preparing for life as an adult, whilst still balancing college and your caring role, and so you will face different challenges compared to carers under 16.

In line with the Carers Trust, the college defines a young adult carer as anyone aged 16-25 who is caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who could not otherwise cope without your support. The cared for person might have one or several of the following:

– illness
– disability
– learning difficulty
– mental health condition
– addiction.

Caring for someone might include cooking, helping someone get dressed, taking siblings to school, providing emotional support, or helping someone to communicate.

At Abingdon and Witney College, we seek to create an environment where carers are understood and valued, able to thrive and succeed on your course as well as fulfilling the demands of your caring role. We understand that this can be a difficult balance to achieve, but we are committed to doing all we can to enable this to happen.

The College has recently been awarded the Quality Standard in Carers Support by the Carers Federation, in recognition of our embedded and holistic support for young adult carers.




Support we can provide for you:

– study support
– financial support via a college bursary
– personal and emotional support
– help with referrals to other organisations, such as Oxfordshire Young Carers Service, Social Care, CAMHS or Carers Oxfordshire.

We are also developing relationships with local secondary schools to ensure that the transition to college for carers is as smooth as possible. We can visit schools and carers groups to discuss individual support needs, and provide tours of the campus to prospective students and their families or support workers.

To find out more about how the college can support you or someone you know in their caring role, please contact our Student Services team at

For more details about being a carer at college, please click here.

*For more information on this, please visit the Carers Trust website. Abingdon and Witney College is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Looked After Children and Care Leavers

The college is committed to supporting the development and well-being of all its students, but recognises that students who are or have been in foster care may have barriers that prevent them from achieving their potential. For this reason, the college works closely with the Virtual School to enable them to carry out the Personal Education Plan for these students once per term. Success and progress can be celebrated, and extra support can also be put in place as needed to help students continue on their courses and progress on to further study or employment.

Find out more about the College’s provision for Looked After Children and Care Leavers here.