Children, Families, Learning & Leisure Cabinet Member – Minutes – 16 November 2018

13 (13) CARE LEAVERS COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of existing arrangements and seeking approval for the proposals in relation to helping care leavers live independently and manage their finances through support to pay their council tax.

The council was committed to supporting young people as they progressed from care to adulthood and ensuring that they were helped to become independent and resilient adults.

The recent national campaign by the Children’s Society reported that nationally over half (57%) of young people leaving care had difficulty managing their money and avoiding debt.

The council had a comprehensive local offer for all care leavers that was fully supported by Corporate Parents across the council and council partners.  This was in line with statutory responsibilities to ensure that care leavers lived in suitable accommodation and had support to help them manage their finances.  This had been reinforced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 that required councils to offer support to care leavers up to age 25.

Nationally young adults were staying at home longer and therefore had more support within their own families to become financially independent.  Care leavers were also increasingly continuing to live with their carers or in supported accommodation.  Those over the age of 18, however, who lived in their own accommodation were required to pay council tax.  The council currently provided financial support with this through council tax support up to 77%.

Resolved – That Option 2, as set out in paragraph 3.3 of the report, that the council tax support package available to care leavers be increased to up to 100% to the age of 22, be approved.

Note: Reports are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and therefore require a suitable reader to view them. A reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website (full instructions for downloading the reader are provided on the site).