Posted: 05 March 2018

Is London caring for care leavers?

Peer Outreach Workers (POWs) are a group of young people from across the capital that engage with the opinions of other young people to help influence and shape the Mayor's policies. 

Back in 2016 they led an inquiry into children’s rights in London. They wanted to address the question: 'Are we as a city upholding children's rights?’

As part of inquiry, they heard about our campaign to exempt young people leaving care from paying council tax. Since then they've been tirelessly calling for councils across London to give care leavers a fairer start.

An impossible decision for young Londoners

Living in London can be a real struggle for care leavers. Suddenly they are faced with the responsibility of managing finances in an incredibly expensive city, and they have very little support to help with that transition. Trying to manage bills and rent for example, can for many, mean sacrificing food in order to afford the expense of commuting to work.

Having to regularly make difficult choices such as these, can negatively impact a young person’s mental health. Care leavers are particularly vulnerable to this. Many are troubled with trauma from their past and the added fear of arrears, or court hearings, can really build up anxiety and lead to multiple problems.

Good news for care leavers

In the absence of family, councils legally become ‘corporate parents’. This means they are encouraged to support care leavers in the same way any parent would.

That’s why we’re so excited that more than half of London councils have introduced the change to exempt care leavers from council tax.  

Supporter of our fairer start for care leaver campaign

Giving care leavers this stepping-stone to adulthood will help to stop many falling through the gaps in the system.

Has your London council made the change?

Use our table below to see if your London council has exempted care leavers from council tax.

Local authorities
Hammersmith and Fulham
Kensington and Chelsea
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest


Not on the list? Ask them to take action now! Next week, council tax bills will be arriving on doorsteps across London. We want to see all care leavers in London exempt from paying from council tax by this time next year.

Ask your council to exempt care leavers from paying council tax

By Louise Jones - Digital team

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