Posted: 25 October 2017

Reflecting on our campaigns this National Care Leavers' Week

Our campaign to exempt care leavers from paying council tax means over 14,000 care leavers will now be spared the worry of council tax debt. 

Care Leavers' Week

Care Leavers' Week is a time for us to think about a group of incredible young people with experience of the care system. As they enter adulthood and begin independent life, many struggle to face the challenges and obstacles of everyday life.

One of these challenges is council tax, which is why for almost a year we have been campaigning to stop local councils charging young care leavers. 

ask your council to ensure a fairer start for care leavers

Giving care leavers a fairer start

We know from our work with care leavers, that council tax debt can be particularly frightening and stressful – and can quickly escalate to fines, and even court.  

What’s more, care leavers are already a particularly vulnerable group when it comes to starting out in adult life – they are less likely to be in education or have a job, they are more likely to become homeless and more likely to have mental health problems. For many, they have never had any training or support in how to manage finances, and may not have any family or support networks that can help them if they fall into difficulty. 

That’s why we’re thrilled this Care Leavers' Week to report that over the last year a quarter of councils in England have taken the decision to make this change. That is over 14,000 young people who will be spared the worry of council tax debt.

We also welcome the news that Scotland’s First Minister has pledged to make care leavers exempt throughout the whole of Scotland. 

Thank your council

Our fantastic campaigners have really engaged with this issue at a local level, with thousands of letters sent to councillors across the country asking them to implement the change.

If your council is one of the 42 that have introduced these measures then please send them a quick thank you for making this important change.

Listen to our podcast

Earlier this month, we released a podcast, highlighting the benefits that this simple change will have on young people leaving care. You can hear from experts, councillors, and two care leavers about why this change is so important for these vulnerable young people.

You can also download our podcast direct from iTunes (running time 15 minutes).

Do something great this Care Leavers' week

Why not do something great for care leavers this Care Leavers' Week and ask your council to make a change. There are lots of ways you can help:

ask you council to ensure a fairer start for care leavers

By Jacq McNee

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