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Redbridge Council to discount council tax bills for foster carers

PUBLISHED: 19:57 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 19:57 24 July 2017

Cllr Elaine Norman, cabinet member for Children and Young People

Cllr Elaine Norman, cabinet member for Children and Young People

Archant

Redbridge Council says more volunteers are needed to help care for vulnerable children across the borough.

The move, which is set to come in effect in September, will see foster carers receive a 60 per cent discount on their council tax bill.

Care leavers will also be exempt until they are 25.

The move was welcomed by Sam Royston, director of policy and research at The Children’s Society.

She said: “We’re delighted that Redbridge Council is introducing this policy because the exemption will make life easier for many young people making the move into independent living.”

“Care leavers have often experienced a really difficult upbringing and they 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 to juggle their household bills and make ends meet. Many find themselves in debt, or having to go without food or other basic necessities.

“To expect some of the country’s most vulnerable young people to start paying council tax just days after leaving care is setting them up to fail.

The announcement is part of a wider drive to encourage more people to become foster carers in Redbridge.

Cllr Elaine Norman, cabinet member for children’s services said, “I am delighted and very proud that this council has taken steps to help support both our foster carers and care leavers.

“Looking after Redbridge’s children and young people and making sure they reach their full potential remains a top priority for us as a Council.

“Sometimes managing and understanding Council Tax bills for the first time can be daunting and many care leavers aren’t aware of their entitlements around exemption or support. It’s so important to do everything we possibly can to ensure the move from care to independence is as smooth and easy as possible.”

For more information on fostering visit click here and search for ‘fostering’ or contact the fostering team on 020 8708 7528 or email fostering@redbridge.gov.uk

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