23 Nov 2017

The Children’s Society’s campaign to exempt young care leavers from paying council tax – which has seen 13,000 benefit so far -- has been recognised with an award.

So far, 49 councils in England and Wales have agreed to the policy, and the Scottish government has applied the exemption across the whole of Scotland.

The Leaving Care Award – which highlights those doing the most to help young people who are leaving care and transitioning into adulthood -- was presented on Wednesday 22 November at the awards ceremony organised and hosted by Children and Young People Now magazine. The category recognised efforts that help care leavers by supporting their accommodation, health, housing, training and employment needs.

Judges looked for examples where young people have played a key role in planning their independent living. Young people, as well as professionals, judged each award.

In addition to having a high impact, the campaign was also noted for uniting staff, supporters and partners behind it.

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society said: 

“We are pleased that our work to exempt care leavers from council tax has been recognised by this award. We hope that it leads to more awareness of our campaign and that we will see more councils pledging to support care leavers by adopting the policy.

“Care leavers have often had a difficult upbringing and 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 with making ends meet and end up having to choose between food and paying bills, or getting into debt. 

“Expecting young people to pay council tax just days after leaving care is setting them up to fail. That’s why The Children’s Society is continuing to call on local authorities to exempt care leavers from paying council tax.”

The Children’s Society was also shortlisted at the event for a Partnership Working Award for its Seen and Heardtraining package created in partnership with the Department of Health to help professionals spot signs of child sexual exploitation.

 

Media enquiries

For more information, please call The Children’s Society media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

  • More information about the care-leavers campaign can be found here.
  • In total 48 councils in England, almost 1 in 3, have exempted care-leavers from council tax, plus 1 council in Wales and all of Scotland. This approximately covers 13,000 care leavers.
  • A photo of The Children’s Society team receiving the award at the ceremony is attached. 
  • The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. We also campaign for changes to laws affecting children and young people, to stop the mistakes of the past being repeated in the future. Our supporters around the country fund our services and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side.