Councillors support care leaver campaign

A charity campaign embraced by Doncaster councillors has been recognised with a national award. The Children's Society has been calling on councils across the country to exempt care leavers from paying council tax. They have been awarded the Leaving Care Award by Children and Young People Now magazine.
A charity campaign embraced by Doncaster councillors has been recognised with a national award. The Children's Society has been calling on councils across the country to exempt care leavers from paying council tax. They have been awarded the Leaving Care Award by Children and Young People Now magazine.

A charity campaign embraced by Doncaster councillors has been recognised with a national award.

The Children’s Society has been calling on councils across the country to exempt care leavers from paying council tax, and councillors in Doncaster - where there are around 350 care leavers - have agreed to implement the policy.

The charity have been given The Leaving Care Award by Children and Young People Now magazine.

The award highlights those doing the most to help young people who are leaving care and transitioning into adulthood.

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society said: “We are pleased that our work has been recognised by this award. But it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of councils like Doncaster, and the most important achievement of all will be the difference this makes to the lives of these young people.

“We hope the award leads to more awareness of our campaign and that we will see more councils pledging their support.

“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 days after leaving care is setting them up to fail. That’s why we are continuing to call on local authorities to exempt them from paying council tax.”

Doncaster Council is one of 49 councils in England and Wales who have agreed to make the change.

The Children’s Society was also shortlisted for a Partnership Working Award by the magazine for its Seen and Heard training package, which was created in partnership with the Department of Health to help professionals spot signs of child sexual exploitation.