THURROCK Council has decided to exempt young care leavers from Council tax, help the most vulnerable leavers get onto the property ladder as well as help them with a range of support from education to debt advice in an innovative shake up of its aftercare service.
The pilot scheme was agreed late last year and was set up to give young adults the skills needed for independent living and has had “excellent results”. In fact, it is projected to save the taxpayer £88k this year, leaving more resources for the front line.
Cllr James Halden, Portfolio Holder for Education and Health said: “We have recognised the need to help our young people in relation to housing whilst they continue to access support through the council’s Inspire Youth Hub.
“This support will be available for those up to 21 and those aged between 21 and 26 will be assessed against an agreed criteria.
“The work taken place already has seen excellent results, with the report outlining some case studies from individuals who have benefited. Our message is clear – child social care cases of today do not need to be the adult social care cases of the future. We can, are and will, continue to innovate to support our young people into independent and prosperous lives.
“I’m incredibly pleased this work has been given the green light to continue to grow – particularly the work which can now take place in developing more than the two pilot schemes we currently have.”
Cllr Sue Little, Portfolio Holder for Social Care said: “In addition to the supported housing options, targeted council tax exemptions to enhance the package of support will continue to be made available.
“Some of these young adults need personalised support as they transition from foster care to aftercare. I don’t believe our moral responsibility to these children stops when they become an adult and I’m proud this work will go some way in helping them through that transition.”