Help for care leavers

12 January 2018

Young people leaving care in Kensington and Chelsea will be exempt from council tax for three years.

At a meeting of the Council’s Leadership team last night (Wednesday 10 January), it was agreed to introduce the exemption from 1 April 2018. To begin with it means 17 care leavers will not have to worry about paying council tax.

This exemption will apply from the point they are liable to pay council tax, which will be when they leave full time education and if they are not in receipt of benefits. The exemption will be available at any point from 18 to 25. It will apply to young people looked after by the Council, regardless of whether they are living in Kensington and Chelsea or another borough.

Care leavers can be particularly vulnerable to falling into debt for council tax. It is the first time they will be living independently and can be their first experience of managing a budget, therefore the Council is keen to provide help and support.

Cllr Emma Will, Lead Member for Family Service and Education, said: “I am delighted to be able to provide this additional support for our care leavers. We want all the children in the borough to have every opportunity to achieve the most they can.

“Taking away the worry of paying council tax as you begin the journey to establish yourself in the world is something many children take for granted, but care leavers cannot. The Council and our staff are committed to giving care leavers the support they need and deserve. This builds on the work we already do with personal advisors and plans to help care leavers after they have left the fulltime care of the Council.”