We want every child in Devon to have the best outcomes, to live independent and healthy lives, and to achieve their full potential.
It’s one of our main priorities over the next four years.
And as corporate parents to 812 children and young people who have been placed in their care, we want to give our young people the best possible life as adults.
So just as many parents do for their own children, Devon County Council has decided to start putting money aside in savings, for children in our care – to use as a deposit on a house, for example – once they’re adults and legally entitled to have access to it.
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), Devon County Council have started putting additional savings into the accounts for every child who is in its care for 12 months or more.
We’ve 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.”
From this week, we are celebrating Fostering Fortnight, (from Monday 9 May), and this year’s theme is #FosteringCommunities. It’s to celebrate the strength and resilience of fostering communities and all that they do to ensure children are cared for and supported to thrive.
If you would be interested and would like to find out more about fostering for Devon County Council, to provide a home for our children in care, please visit the Fostering Devon website, speak to the fostering enquiry team on 0345 155 1077 or email email@example.com.