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5.1.12 Junior Individual Savings Accounts (JISA) for Looked After Children


Contents

  1. What is a Junior ISA?
  2. Purpose of a Junior ISA
  3. Who is Eligible for a Junior ISA?
  4. What is the Role of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council?
  5. What Can Staff do to Support Young People Who Have a Junior ISA?
  6. Staff Roles and Remit for Junior ISAs
  7. How to Make a Financial Contribution into a Junior ISA


1. What is a Junior ISA?

  • Junior ISA’s are long term tax-advantaged saving accounts for Looked After Children up to the age of 18;
  • The scheme was launched in November 2011 and aimed at young people who were not eligible for a Child Trust Fund;
  • For each eligible Looked After Child, the Government pays £200 in to a Junior ISA;
  • The local authority submits a list of eligible young people at regular intervals to The Share Foundation;
  • The Share Foundation opens the account in the name of the child and manages it until they reach 18 years or leave care.

Note: The savings limit for a Junior ISA in the current tax year is £4128.


2. Purpose of a Junior ISA

Junior ISAs support children and young people to:

  • Understand money and appreciate its value;
  • Learn about managing their finances;
  • Encourage them to think about financial planning and how to budget;
  • Enhance their financial capability skills;
  • Encourage them to save;
  • Provide financial assistance to them in later life.

These skills empower young people, particularly those required of them as adults, such as when they set up home etc.

Every worker involved in a young person’s life should embed financial planning, awareness and guidance in the ongoing support provided to them. This will help them to become well rounded and knowledgeable adults capable of managing their own financial affairs.


3. Who is Eligible for a Junior ISA?

To be eligible, a young person must be:

  • Under 18 years old;
  • Continuously Looked After for at least 12 months (after 3 Jan 2011);
  • Resident in the UK;
  • Not eligible for a Child Trust Fund (CTFs are for children born between 1 Sept 2002 and 2 Jan 2011)*;
  • Some looked after children born between 1 Sept 2002 and 2 Jan 2011 because they were not eligible for a CTF (i.e. UASC);
  • Not in respite care.


4. What is the Role of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council?

Unless there are exceptional reasons that justify a variation, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council must:

  • Provide The Share Foundation with a named contact for dealing with all aspects of the Junior ISA scheme;
  • Respond to requests for information from The Share Foundation, to enable them to open the Junior ISAs and draw down the £200 payments;
  • Ensure that there are effective and proportionate security arrangements safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of the data to be sent to and received from The Share Foundation, in full compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998;
  • Once an account has been opened ensure that, as an integral part of the care planning review and where it is appropriate to do so, the carer, parent and child are made aware of the account;
  • Once a child stops being looked after, notify The Share Foundation and provide the necessary information to the person with parental responsibility for the child (and the child if 16 or 17 years old) so that they may take over the management of the account.


5. What Can Staff do to Support Young People Who Have a Junior ISA?

Social Workers, Carers and Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) all have a role to play in supporting young people who are entitled to a Junior ISA.


6. Staff Roles and Remit for Junior ISAs

Social Worker

The Social Worker is responsible for ensuring that a Junior ISA is included in the Care Plan as soon as the young person meets the eligibility criteria.

Once an account has been opened Social Workers should ensure that the carer, parent and child are made aware that they have a Junior ISA and that it forms part of the young person’s financial planning, awareness and ongoing guidance.

ICS should be updated accordingly to reflect this. Social Workers should also ensure that accurate and up-to-date address and contact details are always kept on ICS (i.e. name, dob, gender, contact details, date entered and left care, current status).

When a young person is discharged from care the Social worker must also talk about the Junior ISA with the parent(s) with responsibility.

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) must ensure that KMBC carries out their duty as good corporate parents by ensuring that children who are eligible for a Junior ISA receive the funding and, where appropriate, they and their carers and parents receive suitable advice about their accounts, both while they are looked after and when they cease to be looked after.

Every Care Plan should have a financial plan/money advice and guidance incorporated within it so that young people can gain an understanding and awareness of this important aspect of their lives as this will assist them well into adulthood.

It is the responsibility of the IRO to check that a Junior ISA is in place whenever they talk to a young person. If it is not, they should take the necessary steps to rectify this without delay, as long as they meet the criteria for one.


7. How to Make a Financial Contribution into a Junior ISA

Any family, friend or carer wishing to contribute to a Junior ISA for a young person can do so. To do this they need to complete the relevant forms which can be downloaded from the Share Foundation’s website.

This form should be returned by post to the Share Foundation, Oxford House, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 8PB.

The Share Foundation cannot accept donations for any child that is not in care as the responsible person for that child has to take control of the account and must therefore do this themselves. The responsible adult can contact either the Junior ISA scheme or the ShareCentre, depending on where the account is held, for further information.

The Share Foundation can be contacted via the following sources:

The Share Foundation
Oxford House
Oxford Road
Aylesbury
Buckinghamshire
HP21 8PB
Tel: 01296 310 400

Further information can be found at: Junior Individual Saving Accounts for Looked After Children: Statutory guidance for Local Authorities (DfE, January 2017)

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