Prosperity Cabinet Member – Minutes – 24 January 2020 (Joint)

1 CARE LEAVERS COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT – The Director: Children and Community Resilience submitted a report seeking approval regarding the proposals in relation to helping Care Leavers to 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 into adulthood and ensured that our young people were helped to become independent and resilient adults.

The Council took its responsibilities towards Care Leavers very seriously and had a comprehensive local offer to all Care Leavers that was fully supported by Corporate Parents across the Council and partners. This was in line with statutory responsibilities ensuring that Care Leavers lived in suitable accommodation and had support to help them manage their finances. This was reinforced by the Children and Social Work Act 2017 that required Councils to offer support to Care Leavers up to 25.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) advocated that the support for Care Leavers included full Council Tax exemption up to the age of 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 22, however, who lived in their own accommodation were currently required to pay Council Tax.

Resolved – (a) That option 2 of the report be adopted, and (b) the offer of financial support currently in place be extended from the age of 23 to 25.