Council gives tax exemption to care leavers

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Young people leaving care in Knowsley are to be given greater support into employment and exemption from council tax, as part of a package of additional support from the council.

The move is designed to make the transition to adulthood and independent living easier for young people who have been in the care system.

As well as making the young people exempt from council tax, the council plans to launch a new 12-month introduction to work placement for care leavers who are struggling to find a job. It would give them paid work experience in a role that interests them, working for the council.

Coun Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “For any young person, growing up and learning to live independently is a daunting prospect, but in most cases they have help and support from parents and other family members.

“Some of our young people leaving care don’t have that support to count on, which is where we, as their corporate parents, have to step in.

“Young people leaving care often find themselves living independently much earlier than their peers, and on top of that, can find it more difficult to find a job because of the experiences they’ve had in childhood.

“Both of these things mean they are more likely to struggle financially.

“By offering a bit of breathing space with the council tax exemption, and offering more support to get care leavers into work, we hope to make life a little easier for these young adults.”

The council tax exemption scheme will apply to any young person currently aged between 18 and 21 years, who has left care in Knowsley, whether or not they live within the borough.

The exemption will last until they are 25-years-old.