Council tax cuts proposed for care leavers in South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council's housing management arm has evicted only one tenant in the last year from Hebburn.
South Tyneside Council's housing management arm has evicted only one tenant in the last year from Hebburn.

Care leavers might be able to save cash on their council tax bill until they get to the age of 25 if new proposals get the go ahead.

South Tyneside Council’s Cabinet will consider the suggestion next week alongside a number of other measures to support young people leaving the care system.

Under the plans, all young people living in South Tyneside who have been looked after by the local authority would be exempt from paying Council Tax up to the age of 25.

Councillor Joan Atkinson, lead member for children, families and young people, said: “When a child or young person is taken into care, the local authority becomes a corporate parent. Like any other parent, that means we don’t suddenly stop caring about our children when they reach the age of 18.

“Research has shown that young people leaving care can struggle both socially and financially so this proposal is about supporting them so that they have the best start in their transition towards adulthood.

“We already offer a lot of support to our young people leaving care but this proposal will allow us to build on this and offer additional help which I am confident will prove enormously beneficial.”

A report to cabinet highlights other ways in which children in care and young people leaving care are being supported since the launch of the council’s Best Start in Life campaign.

This support includes free access to the Council’s leisure facilities for children in care and care leavers and support with accessing apprenticeships with the Council and South Tyneside Homes.

In addition, those leaving care are now given extended support from social workers and personal advisors to help them successfully make the move to independent living.