An innovative plan could see Thurrock foster carers living in the borough given a huge financial boost by making them exempt from paying Council Tax.
People will become eligible for total exemption from Thurrock Council Tax if they:
- live in Thurrock
- are approved Thurrock Council Foster Carers
- are available to foster in line with council policies
This represents a saving of £1,600 a year on a band D property.
Cllr James Halden, Cabinet member for social care, said: "Thurrock is one of a few councils to offer this tax exemption to foster carers. It is our way of saying a massive thank-you to the incredible people who open their hearts and their homes to help vulnerable children.
"Foster caring can be hugely emotionally rewarding but we want to make sure that we can make it as attractive as possible by giving our carers all the support we can, including this kind of innovative financial support.
"We need more foster carers who live in the borough to provide a loving and caring home for children here in Thurrock and we are willing to invest and pull out all of the stops to support our foster families."
Cabinet member for finance, Cllr Shane Hebb, added "This proposal is affordable because we are aiming to invest in our own foster carers who also live in Thurrock, and therefore reduce reliance on far more expensive independent and agency foster carers who may not live in the borough."
The plans will go to Children's Overview and Scrutiny Committee in October, and Cabinet in November. If everything is approved, the exemption will start at the beginning of the new tax year in April 2021.
Photo below: Cllr James Halden, Cabinet member for social care.