Sutton is to scrap Council Tax charges for youngsters when they leave the care system, the council has announced.
Care leavers have been found to have greater difficulty around managing their money, often go into debt and are more likely to be sanctioned over benefits, research has shown. Such issues also put young care leavers at greater risk of rent arrears and therefore becoming homeless.
Sutton Council acts as “corporate parents” to those young people in care, or who leave care, up to the age of 25, and by exempting them from Council Tax up to that age, the hope is that it will provide further assistance for them to settle into homes, work and adult life. The measure is likely to help up to 800 young people.
“We have a duty to support care leavers to transition successfully to adulthood, but we also need to be compassionate to their wider needs as they leave our care,” said Marian James, the chair of the council’s “People Committee”.
“Support is provided by the Leaving Care Team covering different aspects of a young person’s life – finances, health and well-being, accommodation and housing, and employment and education.” James said that the council will be looking “at further ways we can shape services to positively impact our children and young people’s futures”.
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