Surrey children in care to get their savings matched

Children in care who pay money into a savings account will have the amount matched by Surrey County Council.

The children will be able to access the money on their 18th birthdays and it is hoped the scheme will encourage them to save.

The council was recently criticised for its record of treating children in care, based on tables published by the Department for Education.

However, the council said the figures were "devoid of common sense".

For children aged between 12 and 18, annual savings of up to £260 a year will be matched.

'All the difference'

Council leader David Hodge, who grew up in a Dublin orphanage, said: "I know all about the challenges of growing up in care and moving into the adult world can be a daunting prospect.

"This scheme will make all the difference to young people preparing to stand on their own two feet."

The council's Liberal Democrat group recently said care for many children had been "disruptive", based on the government statistics.

One of the tables shows Surrey to be 139th out of 152 in the proportion of young people aged 19 who were looked after when they were 16 and are now in suitable accommodation.

According to the council, there are about 750 children in its care at any one time.

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