Devon County Council has started putting money aside for foster children to use to put down a deposit on a house once they reach adulthood.
The Government already makes one-off payments to children who have been in care for 12 months. They’re given an Isa account and payment of £200, or it’s put into a Child Trust Fund on their behalf. But from last month (April), the council has started putting additional savings into the accounts for every child who is in its care for 12 months or more. The council has set aside £170,000 for the year, to save £20 a month for each eligible child.
Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, the council’s Cabinet member responsible for children’s social care, said: ‘We’ve long worked hard to support the children in our care and beyond into adulthood, to prepare them as parents do to make their own good decisions, and to live independent and healthy lives in their local communities. And part of that transition is about supporting their children financially, showing them how to be good with money, and helping as best they can to set them up on their own feet. Many councils don’t, but some do, and we now think we can and should start putting some money aside for them, so that when they’re 18 they’ve got a foundation to build on and to use in a responsible way.
‘We and the many professionals around them – including our amazing foster carers – all do our best to support them, to help them achieve their potential academically and personally and with the decisions they make, and along the way, we support them financially. This decision will help them, as adults, to start to make their own independent way, and we’re pleased to be able to do it now.’
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