Young people who are moving on from care to leading independent lives are being offered a package of support to make the transition easier.
Wiltshire Council is creating a Care Leavers’ Covenant which helps those leaving care to be supported to find work, housing and transport.
The council has also pledged to ensure its policies and practices consider the effect they will have on care leavers.
At a cabinet meeting this week members agreed to additionally waive council tax fees for care leavers up to age 25.
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Those leaving care can face an upward struggle in managing finances, maintaining a home and living independently without the support from families that most of us take for granted.
“This latest change provides a strong message that as the corporate parent we will look out for our care leavers and provide support into adulthood.”
The Care Leavers’ Covenant features a range of measures including having a personal advisor support until the age of 25.
Other commitments include:
•The Building Bridges programme. This helps disadvantaged young people into work. Under the programme coaches are allocated to each young person to help them find suitable employment in their local communities.
•A Grandmentors programme. This provides support for care leavers throughout their transition into independent living. The programme encourages volunteers age 50+ to share their experience and knowledge with care leavers.
•Priority banding for housing with the council acting as a rent guarantor for lodgings
•Apprenticeships at Wiltshire Council for those meeting the eligibility criteria