Personal advisor Jackie with care leaver Alanis

A care leaver's journey

Did you know that your council tax helps support vulnerable young people into having a second start in life?

We’re committed to supporting young care leavers as they enter into adulthood and providing them with the assistance and guidance any parent would.

Care leavers are young people aged 16 plus who have spent time in care, such as foster care or residential care. Many have experienced neglect and abuse throughout their childhood.

Your contributions help them to receive invaluable practical and emotional assistance, with support focused around their health, education, accommodation, independence and financial stability.

As part of the support available, all care leavers are allocated a personal advisor (PA). Their main role is to promote independence and offer advice, guidance and support wherever necessary.

Alanis, 20, receives support from PA Jackie, who she describes as her ‘go to for everything’.

Care leaver Alanis“We first met two years ago when I was moving into my flat and I had no furniture,” said Alanis. “Jackie came to my rescue and she’s my main support – most young people my age have parents around but I don’t.

“As care leavers, we need to know that someone cares and I know Jackie does. She encourages me to do better and we have a lot of respect for one another.”

In April 2016, we became the first council nationally to offer a council tax exemption policy for care leavers, up to the age of 25. Our decision was in response to recognising the challenges young people face when managing their finances.

Alanis said: “Jackie helped me with my council tax, as I didn’t have a clue how to do my bills. She sat me down and explained everything – and in a way that I would understand.

“She supports me in lots of ways and helps me with the little things, like planning and gives me practical skills I can take with me.”

She added: “My life is much better than this time last year. With encouragement from Jackie, I know I can do better and now I’m working full time in a job that I really enjoy.”

Jackie said: “As well as help with things like organising benefits and housing, practical support is also offered, especially when a young person moves to independence and takes on their own tenancy.

“They may need help in setting up utilities, decorating and furnishing their home – it’s not unusual for a PA to be armed with their own tool box for putting up curtain poles and plumbing in washing machines!”

For more information about the care and support available for children and young people in Cheshire East, visit: Live Well Cheshire East and click on the ‘care and support for children’ tab.