Campaign to exempt care-leavers from council tax wins impact award

By agency reporter
November 25, 2017

The Children’s Society campaign to exempt young care leavers from paying council tax – which has seen 13,000 benefit so far -- has been recognised with an award.

So far, 49 councils in England and Wales have agreed to the policy, and the Scottish government has applied the exemption across the whole of Scotland.

The Leaving Care Award – which highlights those doing the most to help young people who are leaving care and transitioning into adulthood -- was presented on Wednesday 22 November 2017  at the awards ceremony organised and hosted by Children and Young People Now magazine. The category recognised efforts that help care leavers by supporting their accommodation, health, housing, training and employment needs.

Judges looked for examples where young people have played a key role in planning their independent living. Young people, as well as professionals, judged each award.

In addition to having a high impact, the campaign was also noted for uniting staff, supporters and partners behind it.

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society said: “We are pleased that our work to exempt care leavers from council tax has been recognised by this award. We hope that it leads to more awareness of our campaign and that we will see more councils pledging to support care leavers by adopting the policy.

“Care leavers have often had a difficult upbringing and may have experienced abuse, neglect or family breakdown which can have a big impact upon their life chances. Without the family support most young people get as they become adults, care leavers often struggle with making ends meet and end up having to choose between food and paying bills, or getting into debt. 

“Expecting young people to pay council tax just days after leaving care is setting them up to fail. That’s why The Children’s Society is continuing to call on local authorities to exempt care leavers from paying council tax.”

The Children’s Society was also shortlisted at the event for a Partnership Working Award for its Seen and Heard training package created in partnership with the Department of Health to help professionals spot signs of child sexual exploitation.

* More about Seen and Heard here

* The Children's Society https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

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